Doctor Who: The New Universe: Part 6

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Dana prepared for the worst as the two monsters moved in for the kill. Suddenly however she heard a shot and as she looked up, she saw the phasing monster standing there with a smoking hole in its chest.

The beast collapsed to the ground dead. Dana looked ahead to see another member of Excelios’ species standing at the tunnel on the other end of the room. It was a female, who looked as though she’d been through quite a few scrapes in her time.

The female alien quickly ran to Dana and tried to help her up. Unfortunately the giant above started to poke its hand through the crack in the ceiling, and tried to grab the female who quickly fired another shot into the giants eye, which made it retreat for a few seconds in pain.

The female managed to help Dana up and the two ladies quickly ran down the tunnel, dodging the hand as it descended from ceiling again.

“I’m sorry I was too late to save your friend” the female alien said as the two ladies caught their breath at the other end of the tunnel.

“Poor Reosa. Those things took everything from her.” Dana said bitterly.

“They’ve taken everything from me too. A few minutes ago, I saw the man who had raised me, made me the person I am today, more or less kill himself because he felt it was pointless to go on any longer against those monsters.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be. He’s free now. The two of us? We’re trapped down here with hundreds of those things, and there’s only one charge left in the gun. If they corner us I’ll let you use it. I vowed not to take the easy way out.”

“Well thank you” Dana said, not sure if she meant it.

“I don’t intend to have to use it” Dana continued. “There’s a friend of mine down here, who might have a plan for stopping those things, but we have to get to him first.”

Suddenly the tunnel began to shake, and the giants roar came bellowing down the caves.

“Its back. It can smell us, we need to go now.” The female Alien said.

“Wait tell me your name first, I want to at least know who I owe my life too.”

“Its Mirash, and you?”

“Dana, now you’re right lets get out of here and try and find the Doctor. He should be at the generator.”

“The generator? There were hundreds of those things down there?”

“Not anymore the Doctor.”

The room began to shake again.

“I’ll explain on the way.”

The Doctor was deep in the lower levels of the caves. Just like Dana he had come across the slaughtered remains of several more Mihia’s.

“I’m so sorry Excelios” the Doctor said over the communicator.”

“I did not expect any of them to have survived. I prepared myself for this.”

The Doctor had followed Excleios’ directions through the caves to the main power source, but the Time Lord had had some difficulty following them. He had never had a good sense of direction to be fair. To the Doctor each little gloomy tunnel looked the same. He must have got lost about 3 times.

Suddenly the Doctor heard a rumbling sound coming from above as though something huge was coming.

“Excelios is the giant still eh… indisposed?”

“Yes Doctor, I can see still him on the monitor. There must be another one.”

“Another one, what the hell do you mean?”

“I don’t know. Normally they only send one of them on missions. One is all they normally need.” Excelios said.

“Considering this is the most important mission they’ve ever been on, they may have sent more than one.” He continued.

“Well how many do you think they sent?” The Doctor said somewhat panicing.

“I don’t know. Maybe only two, maybe. You need to hurry Doctor now.”

The rumbling sound grew larger and the tunnel began to shake violently. The Doctor ran down the long tunnel, following Excelios’ instructions. Just as the Doctor was about to reach the main room with the generator, a large hand came crashing through the roof of the tunnel. The Doctor only barely managed to get out of its way.

“It’s here, tell them you’ll fry its leader if the spare giant eats me.” The Doctor said as he backed away from the giant clawed hand.

“Hello can you hear me? We know what you’re up to. Your spare giant failed. Call it off or I’ll kill your leader.” Excelios barked through the speaker.

“We do not command the giants. They command us. We would rather it backed off so as to spare our king, but if another giant doesn’t care then we cannot stop him” the leader of the Hylerax responded.

“Doctor, I’m afraid it doesn’t care if we kill the other giant. I’m not surprise there’s not any honour among those brutes. You’ll have to get out of there now!”

“I can’t. Billions of worlds are at stake” The Doctor replied as he struggled to think of a plan.

The giants hand swung towards the Doctor who barely managed to dodge it and quickly ran towards the generator.  The whole room began to shake. The monster was breaking its way in from above, and the Doctor was trapped! Still the Doctor kept a level head and quickly headed over to the control panel.

“Come on, come on” the Doctor said in frustration as he operated the machine. The roof soon caved in completely , and the monsters hand began to reach down towards the Time Lord.

The Doctor however managed to fire a large bolt of blue lightening from the long strip of energy in the middle of the cave against the giant. The creature let out a scream that echoed through all of the caves. Within a matter of seconds the monsters flesh sizzled and boiled and began to drip off of its bones before its lifeless carcass dropped to the ground, causing a small quake in the process which knocked the Doctor off his feet.

“Doctor, Doctor? Come in?” Excelios shouted frantically.

“Its okay, I’m fine. The giant tried to get me, but I was able to sciphon off just a tiny bit of the power from the compacted sun at the beast. It was risky, but I managed it. Even a brute that size couldn’t withstand the power of a sun.”

“Well done Doctor, I didn’t think it was possible to take down one of those monsters.”

“Well don’t thank me yet, It’ll probably take me twice as long to get the forcefield up now that I had to mess with the energy supply.”

Mirash and Dana had heard the giants screams and quickly headed to the main generator. They had been going there anyway, but they had tread carefully so as not to attract any monsters. but Mirash was now eager to find out what could have harmed the giant.

When the two ladies arrived at the generator they saw the giants hand slumped from the roof by the blue strip, its sizzling, burnt flesh slowly dripping from its arm.

“Dana, I can’t tell you how happy I am to see you.” The Doctor said as he worked on the machine. “Reosa where is she?”

“I’m sorry Doctor. She died trying to save me.” Dana said.

“Poor woman. Hopefully I can get this ready in time to stop those monsters from hurting anyone else.”

“What are you doing with this, what the hell is it” Dana asked.

“The power to another universe Dana. The scientists of this facility, they created another entire universe up stairs. Its no bigger than a couch from our perspective, but from the inside, its just as big as ours. These creatures that are attacking us, they’re from that universe. They took it over and now they want ours. If I can’t find a way to block them, they’ll invade billions of worlds across this universe.”

“I believe you come from their universe young lady” the Doctor said to Mirash.

“How do you know this?” Mirash asked.

“I met a friend of yours, Excelios. He told me everything about your people. I’m sorry I can’t help them now, but hopefully if I get this barrier around their reality, then it will buy us time to help them.”

The Doctor tossed his communicator to Mirash.

“Excelios, can you hear me.”

“Mirash! I can’t believe it, I didn’t think any more of us could have survived.”

“I’m the last one. Those monsters, they killed us all.” She paused for a minute to let Excelios take it in.

“Your friend here seems confident he can stop those monsters.”

The Doctor interrupted.

“I just said I was our best bet. I never said how good a bet that was.”

Suddenly Excelios noticed something on the monitor. The second giant had begun to wake. As it hoisted itself up, the Hylerax approached it and said.

“Please master don’t move. The scientists have a bomb rigged up behind you. It will explode if you try to move. The giant looked around at the machine for a few seconds before smacking the Hylerax across the room.”

“Morons!” It shouted before smashing the machine to bits. “This worthless piece of tech is burnt out. Any idiot can see that. All of you find that meddling scientist.” It screamed.

Excelios looked on in horror as all of the monsters on every floor headed towards the caves.

“The giant’s woken up, it knows we were lying Mirash, they are all headed your way, get out of there now.”

“We have to go, every monster in the facility is headed down here.” Mirash said.

“I can’t, I just need a few more minutes.” The Doctor said as he frantically worked at the controls.

“Doctor you heard her those things” Dana said in shock.

“I know, I know but if we leave now, they’ll get us wherever we go.”

Suddenly the Doctor, Dana and Mirash heard the sound of screaming coming from down the tunnel. Dana and Mirash moved slowly towards the tunnel whilst the Doctor worked on the machine.

“Remember I have one shot left” Mirash said.

Just then three of the large blue creatures came charging down the tunnel. Thinking quickly, Dana grabbed Mirash’s gun and shot at the ceiling just in front. She could see it was weak and crumbling after the giant had collapsed on it. The entire structure caved in and even buried two of the monsters, whilst blocking the others off.

Dana breathed a sigh of relief, but three of the phasing monsters soon emerged through the rubble.

“Oh right I forgot they could do that.”

The monsters attacked both Dana and Mirash who tried to fight them, but unfortunately every time they tried to land a blow the beasts simply phased through each of their attacks. The monsters in turn managed to land several slashes against the two women, including a deep one in Dana’s stomach that knocked her off of her feet. Two of monsters grabbed Dana by either arm and started to pull, whilst Mirash tried to help Dana, the other phasing monster was able to grab Mirash in a head lock from behind and tried to snap her neck.

“Stop” the Doctor shouted.

“Okay, I surrender.” The Doctor said as he walked slowly away from the control panel with his hands up.

The phasing beasts dropped the two women to the ground and approached the Doctor.

“You two, check the machine see if he’s tampered with it” the leader of the three shouted whilst grabbing the Doctor’s neck.

They obliged, but as soon as they touched the panel they both burned into nothing. The Doctor seized his chance and pushed the head phasing monster a few feet into the blue light before it could react. The monster was instantly vaporised it into nothing.

“What did you do” Dana said as she got up, despite the pain.

Suddenly the door behind the monitor broke down and one of the armoured monsters with a long tail came crawling through.

“No time for that now” the Doctor said as he climbed up the dead giant’s arm, with the other two women following him.

They managed to make it into the cavern above where the giant’s corpse lay. Most of its flesh had melted off, and its bones were charred.

The Doctor, Mirash and Dana ran down the nearest tunnel, but they were forced to retreat into a nearby hole in a wall when several more Hylerax came running down the tunnel. Fortunately they didn’t see the Doctor or his two companions.

“Where are we going?” Dana asked.

“There’s a safe room on the bottom floor. We just have to get there.”

“The last safe house wasn’t very safe.”

“I know but we’ll just have to hope they can’t find us. Its below their universe.”

“Excelios” the Doctor spoke into the communicator. “Are there any more on the bottom floor?”

“No, but you have to hurry, their crawling all over the place trying to cut off any point of exit.”

The Doctor, Dana and Mirash quickly ran down the tunnel which led to a hole in the ground. Below was just a short distance to some vents leading to the lowest level.

Several of the monsters of different breeds were running below however. The Doctor, Dana and Mirash were forced to wait for a few minutes before the horde had seemingly run by.

When they jumped on the ground however, one of the monsters noticed and alerted the others. The horde of creatures came charging after the Doctor, Mirash and Dana.

Unfortunately however the pain in her stomach caused Dana to stumble and fall. Both Mirash and the Doctor noticed in time and went back for her right away, but as the monsters came closer, Mirash pushed the Doctor and Dana forwards and jumped straight into the abominations. She didn’t know what the Doctor had done below, but she felt that he was genuinely the best chance of defeating the monsters. There was certainly nothing more she could do. So Mirash decided with her last breath to buy the Time Lord and his companion some time. The monsters tore her apart, but she kept fighting, as futile as it was until the end.

The Doctor and Dana managed to make it the vent, but one of the monsters, a Hylerax had kept close on their tail (whilst the others were too busy tearing Mirash apart.)

The Doctor and Dana crawled their way through the vents until they reached the lower floor.

Unfortunately the Hylerax was too quick for them and just as the Doctor and Dana were about to make it to the room above the safe area, the monster managed to grab them both with one arm each and lifted the Doctor and his companion into the air.

They both kicked at the monster but it was futile. Excelios looked at what was happening on the monitor. Even after all this time he was still terrified, but he knew that he couldn’t leave the Doctor and Dana to be torn apart by those monsters. If they caught the Doctor, they could force him into undoing whatever it was he had done to the generator, either through torture, or threatening Dana’s life. He couldn’t let whole worlds be endangered.

The monster threw Dana to the other side of the room, knocking her out and shoved the Doctor into a nearby wall with both hands. It wanted to make him suffer the most for humiliating its leader.

“Lets have some fun” it hissed as it started to slowly dig its claws into the Doctors stomach.

Before it could hurt the Doctor, Excelios quickly grabbed one of the guns from the fallen soldiers corpses, and shot at the beast several times. With its last ounce of strength the monster hurled itself at Excelios and snapped his neck like a twig.

The Doctor wasting no time hit the monster from behind with both hands, knocking it down. He then grabbed Excelios’ weapon and shot the monster in the face as it made one final attempt to attack the Doctor.

“Come on they’re coming” the Doctor said to Dana as he tried to rouse her. He could hear the horde crawling from the vents just down the hall.

The Doctor was forced to carry Dana who was still too weak from her wounds into the safe room which he quickly shut behind him.

In the safe room the Doctor could see on the monitors that the horde didn’t even both to search in the room their universe was contained, as they believed it was a dead end.

The Doctor made the finishing touches to his forcefield around the universe from here.

Dana started to wake.

“Doctor, Doctor.”

“Its okay Dana I’m here”

“What, what happened, what did you do?”

“I was able to use the power from the compacted star at the centre of this planet to create a barrier around their universe. It will stop them from sending any more of their kind into ours. I also used some residual energy to create a solar barrier around the generator. If any of the monsters touch it they’ll be vaporized as we saw down in the cave. It’ll only last for a few days however, though the forcefield that I had to power from up here, partially will run indefinitely. We just have to wait the monsters in our universe already out.”

“Wait them out?”

“Yes, the plague. You destroyed the last sample of the cure remember? By my estimates within a few hours they should die. We just have to hope they can’t find us by then.”

“Where’s your friend?”

“He sacrificed himself to save us Dana. Not just us, but all of the other worlds. If those things had found us, they would have forced me to undo the forcefield. ”

“I can’t believe it. I didn’t even get a chance to meet him and he gave up his life for me.” Dana said with regret.

“Well lets just hope his sacrifice wasn’t in vain. We just have to keep our heads down and keep quite for the next few hours.

The next few hours felt like days as the Doctor and Dana watched the monsters anxiously on the monitor. The giant tore just about every room it came into in rage and even killed several of its underlings. Several more of the monsters tried to fix the generator, but each time they were vaporised thanks to the Doctors booby trap.

After several hours, the monsters began to fall over and die, one by one. Their deaths all looked so peaceful, though that was only because they had become so weak they could no longer fight anymore. The giant was the last to die. It collapsed on the third floor, that it had torn apart. The monster with its last action dug its claws into the corpses of one its minions, a Hylerax who it cursed with its dying breath for failing it.

Even after the monsters died the Doctor waited 10 or so minutes to make sure that they weren’t just tricking him. Just before he left the safe room, the Doctor left a message for the next rescue team. It took him thirty minutes to complete it as he ran through what had happened here, and warned them about the plague and the monitor. He also stressed that the people of this galaxy needed to help the inhabitants of the universe they had created, though he wasn’t sure they would. The Doctor couldn’t afford to stay around however, as they would probably lock him up. He also didn’t want to decide the fate of another universe. He didn’t think anyone should, but at the very least it was their mess to clear up. The Doctor had stopped their mess from spilling out into the rest of the universe. He felt that was enough.

It would take the Doctor and Dana several hours to make their way back through the facility, the caves and the jungle below. Along the way Dana would place her coat over Excelios’ corpse as a sign of respect. It was the least she could do she felt.

It took them another hour or so to find the TARDIS from where the giant had thrown it.

“What did he do to you old girl” the Doctor bemoaned.

The Doctor had been forced to help Dana all the way down due to her injuries. They weren’t serious, and she would recover in no time, but she was still in a quite a bit of pain.

The Doctor got her to a chair in the console room before taking the TARDIS off into the vortex.

“Well Dana all I can say is that for once I hope it is a long while until the next stop. We could both be doing with a rest after that.”

Next Adventure

                                            The Fire of the Daleks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Circus Master: The Book of the Vampires: Part 6: Damned Souls

 

Florence awoke in a smelly, run down, dark, wet cellar behind several bars.

On the outside of her cage she could see blood stained all over the floor and the furniture, which consisted of a few chairs and a table. She tried to break the bars with her Vampire strength, but they were too strong for her.

Suddenly Florence noticed a young girl, crying and hiding at the far end of the cage. As she went to comfort her, she could see the girl who was no older than 14 was covered in cuts and bruises.

“There were 12 of us.” She whimpered to Florence. “I’ve been here for 2 weeks, and each time they take one us outside, I can hear their screaming above. It lasts for hours each time. The last time was different however. They took one of us, a young boy, and they.”

“They what.” Florence said as she tried to comfort the poor girl.

“They read from some book, and they, they turned him into a monster. He tore another three of us apart. They’ve left me here for 2 days. I don’t know when they’re coming for me but.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.” Florence said as she hugged the poor girl.

“Oh really.? Is that so? You couldn’t even protect yourself. Would you be in our cage otherwise?”

It was the Alpha Vampire that had Florence had fought in the hospital. Some parts of its face were still badly burned, and once again Florence felt there was a depressing sense of familiarity to the beasts face.

Florence pushed the girl behind her and stood her ground against the monster.

“I’m not going to beg, as I know that’ll only make it worse, can I just ask you who were before you became this?”

The monster smiled. “I believe you once knew me as the butcher of Ivory.”

“Malstrom” Florence said. The ivory had been the name of the hospital Malstrom had worked at.

“I don’t understand? They hanged you years ago?”

“The book can also bring back the dead it seems. They’re picking the best and brightest for their new army.”

“Even by their standards I wouldn’t have thought they’d want you. Surely even Vampires know you’re scum.”

“They don’t judge me unlike you bitches. You all thought I killed that girl, you lot threw the noose around my neck without ever even knowing the truth.”

“What do you mean.”

“That girl they hung me for. I didn’t do it.”

“You’re lying”

“Why would I lie now? Its not like you or anyone else can hurt me. I can take what I want, but I assure you, I did not kill that girl.”

Florence thought for a minute. Was it possible this monster recognised her too, and was just playing with her?

“So what you’re saying you were just some poor misunderstood guy that we all formed a lynch mob against. Blamed for killing his parents, and his wife?”

“Oh no I killed all three of them” Malstrom said in an extremely casual way. “But the last one I was innocent of! Its not fair. I was hung for something I didn’t even commit.”

“Well” Florence continued. “If it makes you feel any better I’ll make you pay for the things you have actually done.”

The Vampire smiled. “Oh really? Tell you what, if you can beat me here, I’ll let the little brat go.”

The young girl clung to Florence.

“Please don’t, he’s the worst of them all.” The girl said as she held onto the Siren.

Florence wasn’t sure what to do. She knew she couldn’t take him in a fair fight. Still maybe she could trick the Demon and buy the girl enough time to get free.

The giant Vampire opened the door with its tentacles, and before Florence could even react it battered her to the back of the cage, before wrapping its tentacle around its feet and pulling her out of the cage. The monster threw Florence to the other side of the room and then punched her into a wall on the right side. When it tried to make another move against her, Florence jumped over its back and grabbed the table. With her super strength she managed to life it, and smashed it over the Alpha’s head, before using one of the planks from the broken table, to repeatedly hit the Alpha over the head again and again.

“Run now” Florence shouted to the young girl, who quickly obliged. The Alpha however quickly batted Florence away, and wrapped its tentacle around the young girl and lifted her into the air.

“You loose I’m afraid.” The monster taunted. Florence however quickly jumped on the Alpha’s back and and dug her claws into the Alphas burnt flesh. It hurt both of them as its boiling blood hurt Florence’s fingers.

The Alpha however simply swung the young girl into Florence knocking her off her feet. It then grabbed Florence and threw her back into the cage and locked the door.

Florence tried to pull the bars down, but it was no use. She was forced to watch as the Alpha grabbed the young girl and started to slowly crush her to death.

You’ll be safer in here. Carlene said to Ashlei who didn’t respond at all. Carlene had taken Ashlei back to the Circus. Its magics were a lot more powerful than those that protected Carlene’s mansion and could prevent any Vampire or anyone else from entering. With her brother on the loose Carlene felt that the two children were safer here. Carlene was also worried what the angry villagers would do after all of the commotion involving Brian.

Daniel who was still out cold, was secured in Denika’s magical chains at the corner. They still didn’t know if he was going to change into a Vampire or not, so they had to be sure.

Carlene tried to comfort Ashlei assuring her that they wouldn’t be long in dealing with the Vampires (even if she didn’t believe it.)

Ashlei however still didn’t respond. Carlene didn’t know if the young girl was going to stay put or not, but sadly she didn’t have time to focus on Ashlei. The Vampires needed to be stopped.

Outside Denika had created a magic bubble that would encase all of the Circus Folk and allow them to travel much quicker to Lourouse. They reached the village in about 5 mins thanks to Denika’s magics, which would have taken 4 times longer otherwise. They were cutting it fine to the time limit the Vampires had given them, but Denika had needed all the time she could to try and master the magics in Carlene’s beehive.

When they arrived at the village it was seemingly deserted. The village stunk so badly they could smell it from miles away. It was the stench of the Vampires themselves. Most Vampire breeds had an absolutely foul stench, so when that many congregated together, it was almost toxic.

Most of the buildings had crumbled to bits, though there was still a gigantic church right in the middle of the wretched place that looked more or less intact.

Denika took the Circus folk down into a square right in the middle of the town.

The Circus Master stood in front of the others calling out to the Vampires. A few minutes passed before Vampires from various different breeds started to emerge from all the corners of the square.

There were at least 6 different types of Vampires, all utterly grotesque. They included three blue skinned Vampires, with plated skin, green eyes and no hair, 2 yellow skinned Vampires with long flowing red hair and red eyes, two Vampires with massive bat like wings and hideous snout like faces and long flowing black hair, 3 Vampires each with eight tentacles, flailing around and large rock like heads, a 7 foot tall Vampire whose entire body was completely black with long talons, black spikes on the top of its hit, bright red eyes, with no pupils, and a mouth twisted into a hideous fanged grin, and finally a woman who had a greenish hue to her skin, massive blue hair, and large claws. She looked the most human of all the monsters there, but there was something cruel about her that went beyond even being a Vampire.

The monsters all had blood dripping from their fangs. They hissed and snarled at the Circus folk who huddled together in fear except for the Circus Master who stood his ground.

“Even just looking at you is enough to make me sick Vandal.” Said a strange figure who emerged from behind the two winged Vampires.

Unlike all the other Vampires he looked almost completely human, though he was still incredibly thin and pale. Carlene instantly recognised him as Marcozia.

“I still can’t believe its true” Carlene said.

“Well if it isn’t the traitor.” Marcozia sneered.

“Oh so suddenly you’re a born again Vampire? Unbelievable. I remember when you used to give me shit for being a Vampire. It was all, a Vampire can never change, I’ll always be a monster no matter what. Yet now I’m a traitor?”

Marcozia laughed. “Well you see that’s the thing, Vampires, hunters, Vandals, Demons. They’re all just trying to survive. They’ll delude themselves into thinking that they have the moral high ground, but ultimately everyone just roots for the team they are a part of. When I was a human, I was on their side and wanted to kill every Vampire, now that I’m a Vampire, I’ll be just as dogmatic against my former team. You on the other hand Carlene, you’re an idiot. You still cling to the memory of what you once were, and fight for a side that wants to kill you. I’ve never realised just how sad you were until now.”

The Vampires words stung Carlene. She didn’t doubt that what she was doing was right, but Marcozia’s words did remind her of how no matter what good deeds she did, the overwhelming majority of people would only ever see her as a Vampire.

Marcozia continued. “You do know that I’m not going to release your friend, right?”

“A Vampire that doesn’t keep his word? Shocking?” Keptis said.

The Vampires moved closer to the Circus folk, whilst the Circus Master still stood his ground.

“I admire your courage. I didn’t think either Vampires or Vandals were capable of it.” Marcozia said.

The Circus Master responded by bowing in a mocking fashion and dropping his large top hat on the ground, upside down. Two of the yellow Vampires looked into the hate out of curiosity and saw nothing. Suddenly however the Circus Master reached into it and pulled out two silver blades, both coated in holy water and started slashing at the two Vampires. Their wounds both sizzled, though he wasn’t sure if it was the holy water or the silver that had hurt them.

The Circus Master quickly grabbed the hat and started throwing weapons to the other Circus Folk, including Keptis’ flaming chainsaw. Keptis managed to slice the head off of one of the blue Vampires as it charged against him, whilst Denika blasted the dark skinned Vampire several feet backwards with her magic. Carlene meanwhile had been given an axe which she used to hack at the Vampires, managing to strike at one of the winged beasts legs and slice the arm off of the blue haired Vampire.

Unfortunately however the yellow skinned Vampires flame red hair was able to stretch out and grab both the Circus Master and the Carlene from behind, enveloping them both.

The hair was so strong that neither could break free. Denika hovered about 20 feet in the air and blasted the yellow Vampire that had grabbed Carlene and the Circus Master. Unfortunately another yellow Vampire used its hair to smack Denika in the chest, sending her flying across the city. The Circus Master however managed to catch the Yellow Vampire off guard and stabbed it through the heart, killing it instantly.

The other Yellow Vampire tried to grab The Circus Master, but Carlene tackled it from behind. Before the Vampire could respond, The Circus Master tossed one his knives to Carlene who stabbed it through the Vampires heart.

Keptis meanwhile fought off the tentacled Vampires. He sliced off a few of the monsters tentacles with his flaming saw, but there were so many arms attacking him, that they eventually managed to knock the saw out of Keptis’ hand. One of the Vampires then wrapped its tentacles around Keptis’ throat and brought him to his knees. Before the monster could strike another tentacle through the last Martian’s chest, The Circus Master stabbed one of his silver blades into the monsters tentacle, and grabbed Keptis, though not before Keptis was able to grab onto his flaming saw.

The Circus Master jumped over twenty feet in the air onto one of the few remaining buildings, Carlene quickly followed him.

“We need to find Denika and Florence now” The Circus Master said.

Ashlei hadn’t moved for ages. She couldn’t muster up the energy for anything. Not that there was anything to do mind you. Daniel hadn’t woken up. He occasionally groaned, but he was still completely out of it.

Just then however the seemingly never ending silence was interrupted by an all too familiar voice. It was Brian.

“Ashlei, Ashlei please, help me. That thing its gone now, I don’t know for how long, please!”

To Be Continued

 

 

SJWs Don’t Like Female Heroes

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They both probably think the woman below is Wonder Woman .

This is a point I’ve raised many times before, but its one that I feel needs emphasised and explored in greater detail, so I’ve decided to devote an article to it here.

For the last few years I have criticised the regressive left’s negative influence on the sci fi and fantasy genres.

I am not by any stretch of the imagination right wing. I have written articles trashing those on the right in the past, such as the following.

5 Worst Right Wingers On Youtube

In terms of liking female heroes and female created forms of entertainment meanwhile, I have written ten thousand word articles on characters from Xena, put forward ideas for tv shows starring female heroes and casting suggestions (that have been rewteeted by beloved genre actresses) tried to bring attention to more obscure female singers like V.V. Brown, and written articles about Amy Winehouse, that her own mother enjoyed (and even started following me on twitter as a result!)

See here.

10 Reason To Admire Amy Winehouse

Ingrid Oliver: Best Tweet I Have Ever Received

Dana Delorenzo: Means More To Me Than You Know

Cult Villains 1: Callisto

Yet in spite of this, I have been accused many times of not being able to stand female led shows, strong women, or female dominated forms of entertainment by SJWs on sites like Gallifrey Base and by people like Mr Tardis and Samuel Davis, simply because I am critical of the regressive lefts influence on the genre.

Interestingly enough however when you look at the SJWs who are so quick to hurl accusations of “not being able to stand female heroes” at others own history. You can see that they often don’t seem to care about female heroes.

The overwhelming majority of leading ladies in the genre like Lucy Lawless, Maggie Q, Dana Delorenzo, Gina Torres, Katey Sagal, and Lana Parrilla’s fans will be made up of men and women like me, IE people who actually like fantasy and sci fi and don’t want to impose their own political views on everything, rather than SJWs.

In this article we are going to explore famous examples of SJWs not caring about female heroes, and ultimately why both male and female SJWs don’t care about female heroes. I feel this is the most important point to raise against SJWs, as they always like to paint themselves as modern day Gene Roddenberry’s, fighting for representation against the evil bigots, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Also from a personal point of view it is very annoying to get told constantly from people with 0 knowledge of female heroes that I need to get used to seeing strong women on tv. I did. Back in the fucking 90s when I was 3!

Famous Examples

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Obviously I can’t accuse every SJW of being like this. I am sure there are some SJWs who do genuinely like female heroes, but for the majority I have come across, that is not the case.

At the very least the most prominent, influential and high profile SJWs, who have in some cases had an impact on franchises themselves, have 0 interest in female led film and television series.

Mr Tardis Reviews is one such example. For those unfamiliar with him, Mr Tardis is a youtuber who as his name would suggest specialises in reviewing Doctor Who, though he also at one point did work as a professional critic.

Mr Tardis is a staunch defender of Jodie Whittakers casting as the Doctor. Now normally this wouldn’t be enough to make me dislike someone, but Mr Tardis has resorted to slandering all of her critics as sexists, homophobes, racists, and bigots who just can’t stand women in leading roles.

A prime example of this was when he claimed that Jeremy Clarkson, a UK television presenter, was a holocaust denier, simply because Clarkson was critical of series 11 of Doctor Who.

Clarkson in truth said that he doesn’t think holocaust denial is a serious issue, as only a fringe group of nutters, who are never going to hold any sway, actually think the holocaust never happened. He compared holocaust deniers to flat earthers, and people who think the earth is only 1000 years old in this respect. Now you may not agree with Clarkson and feel that it is a more widespread issue, but that’s hardly the same as Clarkson being a holocaust denier himself.

Mr Tardis has also targeted smaller channels and twitter users, and encouraged his fans to attack them as sexists such as the following.

 

Finally Mr Tardis has also been accused of gatekeeping such as when he famously declared to critics of series 11. “I DON’T CARE IF YOUR FEELINGS ARE HURT BECAUSE THERE ARE MORE WOMEN AND PEOPLE OF COLOUR IN LEADING ROLES WATCH IT OR DON’T BUT GET THE FUCK OUT OF THIS FANDOM.”

The great irony is that Mr Tardis himself has 0 interest in female led films or television series. I’ve brought this up to him many times on twitter (before he blocked me.) Each time he tried to come up with a different excuse for his apparent lack of interest in female heroes, all of which fell flat.

First of all he said that there have been no prominent female led films or television series since Buffy 16 years ago for him to review. He has continued to make this point against others.

See here. Buffy Ended 16 Years Ago

Ironically all Mr Tardis does with this kind of argument is not only show off his ignorance of female led series, but insult them too.

Since Buffy there have been dozens of female led series. Once Upon A Time which started in 2011 ran for 7 years, and featured a woman, Emma Swan as its main protagonist for 6 years. Regina, the Evil Queen, played by Lana Parilla meanwhile was by far and away the most popular character in the series among the fans and the writers, and served as both its main antagonist, and later main anti hero.

See here.

In addition to this there has also been Charmed, which though starting just before Buffy finished, ran past it by several years, (and ultimately had a longer run too.) I Zombie, Ghost Whisperer, Nikita, Sleepy Hollow, Legends of Tomorrow, Jessica Jones, Supergirl, Underworld film series, Resident Evil film series, Hunger Games film series, X-Men Prequel film series (where the main hero is arguably Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique) Promethius, Sabrina remake, Charmed remake, Scream tv series, Bionic Woman remake, Tru Calling, Battlestar Gallactica remake, Dark Angel, Dollhouse, The Sarah Jane Adventures, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Being Human etc, have all emerged since Buffy finished.

Not all of these series have had a long run, but the same is true for most male led genre series too. Genre series in general sadly, apart from a few exceptions like Doctor Who, Buffy, Xena and the later Star Trek sequels often don’t get a long run on tv. Randall and Hopkirk Deceased, Ultra Violet, Torchwood, Lost in Space, Firefly, even the original Star Trek, are all iconic male led series, that all only lasted 4 series at the most.

In addition to this in every single male led series of the past few decades, there have still been strong roles for women. From Killer Frost in The Flash, to Kelly Maxwell in Ash Vs Evil Dead, to Leela in Futurama, to the various companions in New Who.

See here.

Dana Delorenzo Wins Artemis Action Next Wave Award Winner

So again for Mr Tardis to try and pretend that Buffy was a flash in the pan for women in the industry, just to cover his own lack of interest in female led series, is incredibly insulting to women who have become genre favourites like Lana Parrilla and Dana Delorenzo, in the almost two decades since Buffy ended.

Mr Tardis has also said that he hasn’t reviewed these female led series such as Once Upon A Time because they are not the type of thing he normally reviews. This is a pretty lame argument. There is nothing to stop him devoting a section of his channel to looking at genre tv, or if he doesn’t have the time to do a video, setting up a wordpress site such as this.

Finally Mr Tardis, several months after I’d first accused him of not liking any female led series, did try and claim to me that he has reviewed female led films and ran through various films that he has reviewed.

The only problem with this list was that the films to start with, where mostly films that had come out in the last few years, that he had been forced to review as a professional critic. They weren’t even films he particularly liked, just films he had been forced to review as part of his job. Even then such was his desperation to get together a decent list of female led films he’d reviewed, he was forced to include both Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey among them!

50 Shades of Grey is definitely more empowering for women than Xena, a show me, who can’t stand strong strong women according to Trilbee, has reviewed on this blog, many times.

If only I’d watched 50 Shades of Grey instead of Xena. Then I’d have really learned to accept strong women like Mr Tardis. 

Ultimately Mr Tardis has not tracked down any female led tv series to review on his own, has never commented on the impact any female heroes have made on the genre, has never looked at the careers of prominent women within the genre, has never supported and given a shout out to more overlooked women in the genre, and doesn’t even follow any prominent women within the genre like Lucy Lawless, Dana Delorenzo, Lana Parrilla, etc on social media.

Now I am not saying Mr Tardis’ lack of interest in female led series means that he is a sexist. He just might not have an interest in modern day genre series? However it is ironic that Mr Tardis is willing to paint himself as being the only sane man in sci fi fandom, desperate to see strong women in the genre, such as here.

Women Are Allowed As Lead Roles In Genre Series

When in truth he is the one who is behind most of the rest of sci fi fandom. He’s the one who couldn’t tell a Lucy Lawless from a Gina Torres, would draw a blank at a picture of Lana Parrilla, and couldn’t tell you who Emma Swan, Prue Halliwell, Callisto, and Kelly Maxwell were.

Another prominent example of an SJW desperate for female heroes, yet bizarrely never watching them is Youtuber/musician Claudia Boleyn. Claudia Boleyn was a high profile critic of the Steven Moffat era of Doctor Who, accusing it of sexism and homophobia.

She became quite a prominent figure in Doctor Who fandom, and later got a job working at Doctor Who magazine, as part of their new time team.

Now I don’t have anything against Claudia Boleyn personally, unlike Mr Tardis who has acted in a disgraceful way to critics of series 11.

I freely admit to having been greatly frustrated with some of Claudia’s opinions and statements in the past, but in all fairness to her, Claudia has never attacked smaller channels, sent her fans to attack someone, slandered all fans who disagree with her as sexist, or lied about people the way Mr Tardis did about Jeremy Clarkson being a holocaust denier.

See here for an example of Claudia being more mature and respectful to her critics like ShoeOnHead than Mr “GET THE FUCK OUT OF THIS FANDOM”.

ShoeOnHead on Twitter: “Claudia Boleyn The Feminist I Responded To In My Video Is A Sweetheart”

I myself had a reasonably friendly and regular interaction with Claudia via twitter and youtube until 2018 when she blocked me on twitter.

Now I don’t hold any ill will towards Claudia for blocking me. I think she just got fed up of me constantly questioning her opinions on things, which is fair enough. You can be opened minded, but also fed up of having to constantly defend your position on everything all the time.

Still whilst Claudia may have behaved in a much more respectful way than Mr Tardis, and consequently, I, nor indeed most of her critics, actually dislike her personally. Ultimately I think Claudia sadly still falls under the same criticism, of not practising what she preaches in regards to accepting female heroes.

Claudia Boleyn likes fewer female heroes than Mr Tardis (if such a thing were possible!) I have never seen her even mention Xena, Buffy, Charmed, The Heroic Trio, The Bride with White Hair, Once Upon A Time, Nikita, Ghost Whisperer etc. She doesn’t follow any prominent women within the genre on social media. (Once again, if you were to ask her who Lucy Lawless, Gina Torres, Eliza Dushku, or Summer Glau were, she’d probably draw a blank.)

Furthermore a lot of the male led shows she has reviewed and is a fan of, ironically have female counterparts. Merlin was always one of her favourite series, and Merlin is for all intents and purposes a British expy of Xena.

Xena and Merlin are both pseudo historical series, which merge surreal, camp comedy with quite dark, gritty and violent content. Both merge different historical periods together, and revel in the historical inaccuracies as a source of humour. Finally both also update old myths and legends in a modern way.

Take a look at the two main villains from Xena and compare them to two of the main villains of Merlin. One is a cocky, egotistical guy, dressed in black leather, with long hair, who thinks he’s god’s gift, and who initially holds all the power, the other is a much more evil, intense, psychotic, blonde, who plays on his vanity, and later turns the tables on and absolutely humiliates him.

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So the question is, why does Claudia not prefer Xena? If what she says is true, that she has to see bisexual women like her on tv, then shouldn’t Xena which stars two bisexual women interest her more than Merlin, which stars two white, straight men?

Similarly look at Supernatural and Charmed. Claudia loves Supernatural, but I have never seen her mention Charmed. Both revolve around siblings fighting Demons, who come from a long line of Demon killers, both feature Angels, who are not entirely sympathetic, and are portrayed as petty civil servants, too hung up on maintaining traditions at the cost of human life. In both instances, an older sibling develops an intense relationship with one of the Angels, who goes rogue, whilst the youngest develops a romantic relationship with a Demon, who they eventually end up having to kill. Both shows even feature Death who is played by a sinister, but charming and affable English man and who holds a special interest in the main siblings, simply because they keep escaping him. Both shows even feature a finale called All Hell Breaks Loose, where one of the siblings dies, and a deal is made to revive them, which ends very badly for the older sibling.

Yet once again Claudia loves Supernatural, the one starring MALE siblings, and has 0 interest in Charmed, the show starring female siblings.

Finally Class another male led show Claudia loves is basically just a British expy of Buffy. Both revolve around a group of misfit teenagers who have to guard over a portal beneath a school where monsters from other universes and worlds emerge.

So again why does Claudia not care about any of these female led series?

Whovian Feminism is another famous example of not caring about female heroes, despite promoting herself as fighting for representation for women against the evil, toxic side of fandom.

I have never seen Whovian Feminism, even mention any female led series or films, bar the 2017 Wonder Woman that was in the cinemas.

Once again just like Mr Tardis, Whovian Feminism has never tracked down female led series on her own, and tried to bring them to other people’s attention, she’s never supported or given a shout out to overlooked women in the genre. All she has done is attack prominent men within the genre, and demand that male led series be more feminised.

Similarly the youtuber Samuel Davis is quick to dismiss all critics of Jodie’s Doctor as sexist gammons (including yours truly.) A quick look at Davis’ channel however shows once again that he doesn’t practice what he preaches.

There are NO reviews of female led series, like Once Upon A Time, Nikita, Xena etc on his channel, and he doesn’t appear to have any knowledge of female led shows in the slightest. Once again Samuel Davis wouldn’t know a Renee O’Connor from a Maggie Q.

Paul Cornell, a comic book writer, who has also written for Doctor Who, is perhaps the poster boy for SJW sell outs meanwhile. He has regularly slammed all critics of Jodie era Doctor, Ghostbusters and Captain Marvel as sexist, homophobic, racist MRAs.

In fact Paul even tweeted this cartoon depicting critics of Whittaker as wife beaters.

I’m sure posting cartoons where people who represent you shag the wives of people not happy with Jodie Whittakers era will get them watching again Paul. There’s a reason Claudia Boleyn is the only one people don’t hate. It is sad though that Claudia, someone in her early 20s was able to make a much more mature, and even handed response to a critic, than Paul Cornell, someone in his early 50s! Also nice for feminist Paul Cornell to trivialise domestic abuse by comparing it to a disagreement about Doctor Who.

Ironically once again Paul has very little interest in female heroes. He has written some stories for Vampirella, but other than that, the overwhelming majority of Paul’s favourite series and his own fiction, star men. Look at his blog and you won’t find reviews of Buffy, Xena, Once Upon A Time, Nikita etc. He doesn’t follow the likes of Lucy Lawless, Sarah Michelle Gellar, or Lana Parrilla on social media, or ever give them a shout out either.

Cornell much like Trillbee knows NOTHING about women in the genre, yet constantly lords it over people with legit criticisms of some female led films like Ghostbusters as though he is the only one who has ever watched a female led film.

So the real question is, why do these people who claim to care so much about female heroes, and are so quick to slander others as everything from misogynists, to wife beaters, to holocaust deniers have such little interest in and knowledge of female led series? Well there are 4 main reasons in my opinion.

4/ They Only Care About Making Themselves Look Good

Image result for paul cornell

This more applies to male SJWs like Paul Cornell, Mr Tardis and Samuel Davis. Basically these guys want to lord it over other fans. They want to present themselves as more tolerant, forward thinking and on the right side of history, compared to the sad, smelly, basement dwelling Gammons.  Its all about their own ego, rather than in actually building women up, hence why they have 0 actual interest in women in the genre.

In many cases they are also desperate to promote themselves professionally, and therefore will pander to the dominant political ideology in the entertainment industry (which currently is leftist politics.)

Mr Tardis is an example of this. He mentioned in his video arguing that there is no political bias in Doctor Who, that he has worked freelance for the BBC before, in an effort to claim that the BBC have no biases against hiring white men.

Jump to roughly 31 mins 30 secs in to see him admit he has frequently worked freelance for the BBC.

Trilbee’s claim that there is no bias against white men at the BBC is of course demonstrably not true. See here.

The Unspoken Bigotry of BBC’s Diversity Quotas

BBC Autumnwatch Presenter Sidelined For Being Too White

BBC Presenter Jon Homes Fired For Being Too White

BBC Chief Admits Monty Python Wouldn’t Be Hired For Being Too White And Male

Many have accused Mr Tardis of being a shill for the BBC as a result of lies like this. Whether he is actually being paid by them or not, I don’t think it can be denied that he is trying to get in with the BBC regardless, and is happy to throw other fans, and even the Doctor Who brand under the bus in the process.

In about 20 years time, when right wing tribalism replaces left wing tribalism. (Generation Z are according to polls, the most right wing generation since world war 2.) These same people will most likely be sucking up to the right wingers who’ll take over the industry instead.

All they care about is making themselves look good, or getting ahead, and they currently think they can do that by making out that critics of controversial changes to character like the Doctor, just hate all women, and that they are the modern day Gene Roddenberry’s standing up for the little people in fandom.

The great irony is that they end up using all of the tactics they accuse “toxic fandom” of using. Gaslighting, humiliation, dogpiling on people, misrepresentation of people’s opinions etc.

3/ They Don’t Like Sci Fi or Fantasy

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The sad fact is that many SJWs don’t actually like Sci Fi and Fantasy. The likes of Claudia Boleyn and Whovian Feminism for instance are not actual sci fi fans. (This is not about gender before people accuse me of going on about fake geek girls. There are just as many male fans that this also applies too.)

These people will like just a few sci fi or fantasy franchises that are popular, but will ultimately not have any real knowledge of the genre. They won’t seek out sci fi, horror or fantasy books, films, television series or comic books on their own, they won’t even bother with the franchises they like now in a few years time when the franchises popularity fades somewhat. Of the franchises they do like, they won’t even like them for their sci fi or fantastical elements. Instead they’ll only care about things like shipping, representation, costumes they can wear to comic con etc.

Claudia Boleyn is a prime example of this. Claudia Boleyn does not like sci fi or fantasy in general. Look at her twitter page and you will find constant tweets about Coronation Street and Emmerdale Farm, Soap Operas. She won’t bother with any sci fi or fantasy series that is not current. She won’t track down the old classics like Xena, Buffy, Blake’s 7, Lost in Space, Charmed, Red Dwarf etc.

Similarly if a current series is even remotely niche like Once Upon A Time or Ash Vs Evil Dead it will completely pass these people by. They will only know about a franchise if its current and very mainstream like Doctor Who and Merlin being shown on BBC 1, or the Marvel movies, and even then they will fall out of love with them, when they go back to being niche again.

I’m not saying this makes them stupid or shallow or anything. They just don’t have a vested interest in sci fi as a whole, but as a result of this they genuinely won’t know the likes of Kelly Maxwell, Callisto, or Regina even exist, as most sci fi and fantasy, regardless of whether its male or female led is niche.

At the same time I’d argue that a lot of SJWs actually look down on sci fi and fantasy.

There is absolutely an element of class snobbery in their disdain for the genre. Many SJWs come from upper middle class backgrounds, where sci fi and its fans are seen as stupid and childish. Take a look at this memorable quote from Whovian Feminism about the people who don’t want a female Doctor.

“Supposedly well meaning observers always like to come in and say that hardcore fans won’t accept a woman portraying the Doctor. This attitude does both the show and our fandom a disservice. While there’s always a smattering of assholes to prove this type of attitude does exist, they aren’t even close to the majority. And even if that were true, we should not let the direction of the show be dictated by the worst of its fans. If a misogynistic jerk who disparagingly refers to a woman Doctor as The Nurse says he’ll quit watching the show, then he is exactly the type of fan we should be proud to piss off. I promise, plenty of new fans, (especially ones with disposable income) are waiting in the wings to take his place.”

We definitely don’t want any riff raff or plebs watching Doctor Who.

You can see how these people overall either have 0 interest in sci fi, or hate it and its fans who “don’t have enough disposable income”.

There’s nothing wrong with disliking sci fi of course, but the real question is why are people like Claudia Boleyn and Whovian Feminism being treated as experts of the genre? Why do people listen to them when they complain about how sexist the genre is, about how there aren’t enough women role models? How they fuck would they know?

Similarly why are they more or less being allowed to decide the future of the genre, with producers seeing people like Claudia and Whovian Feminism as their target audience and pandering to them above all else?

The answer is because anyone who disagrees with the ideology these people represent is seen as a woman hater. Still ultimately these are people with 0 interest in the genre, making sweeping statements about it, and its fans because it suits their agenda.

2/ Misplaced Guilt and Projection

A lot of SJWs who claim to be desperate to see more female led films and tv series, yet have 0 interest in any existing female led properties, I feel are perhaps projecting when they accuse others of needing to get used to female heroes.

These people (particularly if they are men.) Will actually feel guilty for not preferring Xena and Buffy to Doctor Who and Star Trek. Its stupid for them to feel that of course.

They might just prefer Doctor Who, or Star Trek because they prefer the writing, acting, and characters. Also even if they did prefer the Doctor, a male hero, because they were male, by the SJWs logic what’s wrong with that? Feminists such as Claudia Boleyn constantly go on about how they prefer female heroes because they are female. (Despite never actually watching female led series.) The Doctor had to actually be changed from male to female so Claudia and others could enjoy the character more? So what’s wrong with a male viewer by that logic, preferring a male hero because he relates to him more?

Still whatever the case because these people are so obsessed with gender politics they actually do feel guilty for preferring a male hero to female hero.

See here for a classic example. Steve Shives, a notorious feminist youtuber who actually is made to feel guilty by his wife for preferring Angel as a series, not even as a character, to Buffy!

You can see how with this in mind, a lot of these men are actually projecting when they rant about fandoms not accepting female heroes, as they worry that applies to them for the stupidest of reasons.

1/ Anti Men Bigotry

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The regressive left have a very strong anti men bias. They essentially view all white men as being privileged shit lords who need taken down a peg or two.

See here for examples of the regressive left’s hatred of white men.

Man Free Festival Guilty of Discrimination

Why Sex Ed Classes Are Anti Men

Youtube Stops Hiring White Men As Part of Diversity

Cinemas Sued For Women Only Wonder Woman Screenings

NUS Gay Men Are Not Oppressed Enough

As a result of this, the regressive left naturally want to tear down forms of entertainment that men enjoy more, (which sci fi is perceived to be) and destroy any strong roles for men in entertainment that they can.

This is undoubtedly a large part of why the likes of Claudia Boleyn, Whovian Feminism, Christel Dee etc, are more interested in changing male characters into women, or replacing them with women, like the Doctor, Wolverine, Iron Man, Thor etc, than in original female heroes.

Xena, Buffy, Regina, Kelly Maxwell, Ripley, Nikita, do not take anything away from men, none of those characters ever make comments about men being inferior, nor have the actresses playing them insult male viewers. They are solely about building women up, which is why the likes of Claudia Boleyn and Whovian Feminism have 0 interest in them, as evidently building women up is less important to them than the following things.

Feminists first of all, want just about every sci fi or fantasy series to include digs against men. We can see this in SJW themed series such as the notorious CW version of Supergirl and later seasons of the 21st century version of Doctor Who.

See here.

In addition to this feminists want to turn as many male heroes into women, not because they want to see more female heroes, but because they want to take role models away from little boys.

Don’t give me the “but a female Doctor can still be a role model to little boys just as much.” If that’s the case, then why can’t a male Doctor not be a role model to little girls?

Ultimately you don’t have to take a role model away from either. You can create more female counterparts to male heroes. In Doctor Who’s case, there already was a time lady character named Romana, who could have been brought back to the revival and then given her own show, allowing both little boys and little girls to have role models of their own.

The feminists and the SJWs don’t want that however. They want little boys to lose role models, because they perceive them as all being privileged, and having had it too good for too long.

Peter Davison who played the Fifth Doctor was chased off of twitter for daring to say that he was unhappy at boys losing a role model in the Doctor.

Peter Davison Quits Twitter Over Toxic Who Fandom

How dare Peter Davison say he’s sad for little boys to lose a hero. Fucking bastard Gammon!

If the SJWs can’t take away a role from male audiences, then they will insist on the character being emasculated or weakened.

Examples of this include Luke Skywalker who was famously undermined in Star Wars The Last Jedi, or the original William Hartnell incarnation of the Doctor who was brought back in the first episode to feature Jodie Whittaker, and made into a sexist, homophobic moron.

All of these petty little digs against white men are clearly far more important to the SJWs, than actual female empowerment, hence why they don’t actually care or have any knowledge of women in the genre.

The irony is that their constant digs against men are why the majority of both men and women in fandoms HATE them. Men don’t like seeing iconic characters like Luke and the Doctor be made into self loathing males, whilst the majority of women outside of the SJWs little elitist bubble, don’t like seeing men get insulted. Most men and women actually like each other. I’d never watch a show where strong female characters like Xena and Buffy, were constantly insulted or undermined like Supergirl or the 21st century version of Doctor Who.

Its got nothing to do with people not being able to accept female heroes. Ironically the SJWs are the people who want to systematically attack the representation of one gender, but like all bullies, they present themselves as the victims and accuse people of what they are guilty of.

Don’t get me wrong here I am not saying that the likes of Claudia Boleyn, Christel Dee, or even Whovian Feminism are psychopathic, man hating feminazis who would never be friends with a man or anything ridiculous like that.

I think that they are all young people who have fallen under the influence of a very toxic ideology, one which does at least foster bitterness and resentfulness against men.

I’m sure when they’re older they will probably look back and regret (not that they’ll have much to regret. We are after all just talking about opinions regarding television series here.)

Still anyone who follows the new, toxic, regressive left’s ideology will ironically often be the last person to actually care about building women up, as the ideology encourages tearing men down.

This is not about women taking over franchises. Ironically about 95 percent of the people who have brought this SJW nonsense into sci fi and fantasy series are men! Either self loathing men like Steven Moffat, or people who don’t really believe it, but think it can make them popular, like Paul Cornell. Many of the most outspoken critics of identity politics meanwhile have been women.

Ultimately this is about a corrosive ideology that is pushed by just as many men, as women, having too strong an influence on the entertainment industry.

Its an ideology that harms both men and women in the genre, as not only does it pit them against each other, but it also tears down strong roles for women, whilst ironically ensuring that strong roles for women like Xena and Kelly Maxwell are ignored.

We need to therefore always challenge SJWs about what it is they really want. Make them question how if they actually care about representation, if they don’t bother watching any female led shows that are out there, or if they really want to just take something away from men.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doctor Who Season 18 Review

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(This article is from a friend of mine named Laurence Buxton. I have decided to showcase some of his writing here. Let me know what you think, and enjoy.)

DOCTOR WHO. SEASON 18 REVIEW. By Laurence Buxton 2019.

Season Credits : –

Produced by John Nathan-Turner

Executive Produced by Barry Letts

Scripts edited by Christopher Hamilton Bidmead

THE LEISURE HIVE

Written by David Fisher. Directed by Lovett Bickford

Plot

The Doctor and Romana cut short a less-than-successful holiday on Brighton beach and decide to head to the famous Leisure Hive on the post-apocalyptic planet Argolis. They soon find themselves caught in a political powderkeg, where the natives are at risk of being manipulated to sell the Hive by a breakaway group of their mortal enemies the Foamasi. Meanwhile a militant young Argolin, Pangol, is looking to use the power of the Hive’s Generator, tweaked by the Earth scientist Hardin, to form an army of doppelgangers to destroy the Foamasi. The Doctor must not only convince the suspicious Argolins he is not behind a sudden murder in the Hive, but find a way to reverse his accidental rapid ageing and to prevent all-out war breaking out between the Argolin and the Foamasi…

‘The Time Lord’s looking his age all of a sudden – is the party over for Doctor Who?’

Review

Following the popular, if shortened and rather frivolous season 17 ( after shooting of the troubled Shada production was finally abandoned ) few could have expected the massive changes that Doctor Who, under the stewardship of JNT and Christopher Bidmead, would incur. With the departure of producer Graham Williams and script editor Douglas Adams the undergraduate humour that had begun to slip in during s16 was firmly vewtoed, and so when the series reappeared there would be very little, apart from the continuing presence ( for now ) of Tom Baker and Lalla Ward on board the TARDIS, to link it to what had gone before.

Not since season 7, with the introduction of Jon Pertwee, colour TV and UNIT, had there been quite as many fundamental changes to the on-screen realisation of Dr Who. Gone was the time tunnel sequence that had been a staple of Tom Baker’s time on the show; gone too was the ghostly howl of the theme tune, to be replaced by a ‘travelling through the stars’ opening segment and a more haunting, phased and up-tempo ( often referred to as the ‘disco’ ) arrangement by Peter Howell. Both seemed to be aimed at dragging the series into the 1980s, and it only took a brief look at the sets and special effects in the trailers to realise that the standards of both had done the same.

Even more changes are clearly signified by the opening scene, ones which give a chilling notice of intent for a gloom-laden future for the season, and for the Doctor personally, especially when compared to the previous year’s. The knockabout first moments of season 17 (Destiny Of The Daleks) on board the TARDIS had seen a coughing K9 being teased by the Doctor about having ‘laryngitis’, whilst Romana casually tried on a succession of new ‘bodies’ and ‘styles of dress’ – the latter including Baker’s – with the Doctor sniffily passing judgment on each. In The Leisure Hive, the opening titles to part 1 are followed by a plaintive and wistful synthesiser score accompanying a very lengthy pan across a notably out-of-season, windswept Brighton beach – all flapping deckchairs and abandoned beach tents. The camera finally alights on the Doctor, alone, wearing a vampire-like variation of his famous outfit, and slumped as if dead with his hat over his face. Even the apparent attempts to inject humour into this startlingly forlorn scene with the arrival of Romana and K9 sit disconcertingly with the viewer (the Doctor’s apparent narcolepsy, K9’s ill-advisedly going into the sea to ‘fetch’ a ball for Romana, and exploding) and with their referencing of decay and death seem to bode ill for both the titular hero and his trusty metal dog in series 18. More of which in future reviews…

The Leisure Hive, a story rumoured to make wry comment on the declining status of the British tourist industry, is nothing if not convincingly brought to the screen, with a gloss and sheen that was then new to the production, with evocative shots of the planet’s surface. The directing and camerawork from Bickford is certainly distinctive, and with the use of editing the Foamasi come across as an effective menace, when depicted as shadows, claws etc. This effectively increases the tension levels through the opening episodes, where a breakaway group of the Foamasi (originally envisaged as a kind of alien Mafia) are breaking their way into The Hive. They are also, unfortunately, rather too portly when viewed properly to convince as being able to disguise themselves as humans (as with Julian Glover’s head being the ‘disguise’ for the Jagaroth in series 17’s City Of Death). Hence the close-ups and single-camera work used here by Bickford, who unfortunately ran over budget and was not asked to return to the program.

There are also a certain amount of pacing problems with The Leisure Hive, notably in the first half, where events such as the landing of Mena’s spaceship, and the aforementioned pan along the beach are perhaps allowed to run on for rather too long and test the viewer’s attention span before the story, let alone the season, has really got going. Another oversight is the moment where Hardin’s shifty financier, Stimson, is fleeing from a Foamasi and leaves his glasses on the floor which are promptly stepped on and crushed by the alien – whilst a suitable conveyor of the ill fate which is about to befall him. However the likelihood of him either not noticing or at least trying to retrieve them stretches credibility, and a more convincingly edited sequence would at least have shown why he did not try to get them back. Apart from what is shown from the later shots of the Foamasi, however, the costuming and casting in The

Leisure Hive are generally strong, and the political scene on Argolis is well-realised through the many conversations by the major players in the boardroom. The theme of characters such as Morix and Mena displaying their mortality ( through the ‘buds’ dropping off their heads and visibly dying as this happens ) links in well with the grim themes of entropy and decay not only in the Argolin world but season 18 generally, themes that set the season a league away from what had gone before in light-hearted stories like The Horns Of Nimon and The Creature From The Pit.

Other aspects of the production are more hard to fault. Peter Howell does the incidental music for The Leisure Hive, and he does a good job at initiating a very different, austere synth soundtrack for the season, a clear step away from what had previously been heard on the show. Howell also went on to score the likes of Meglos and though obviously varying from story to story, the haunting style of this background music adds much to stories such as State of Decay, Warrior’s Gate and particularly Paddy Kingsland-scored Logopolis. There is a balancing during the suspenseful and serious scenes of high-pitched drone and lower, clanking ominous sounds. The opening pan along Brighton beach is perhaps the most distinguished moment, however, the aforementioned mournful melodies finally lightening with the ironic burst of “Oh I Do Like To Be Before The Seaside” upon the glimpse of the Doctor. Nonetheless the underpinning of the action with pensive, minor-key synthesized motifs will form another navel-gazing element of a downbeat season.

It is noticeable that this more serious atmosphere is partly induced by the changes in the dialogue, which are certainly noticeable in this story – as well as the removal of Baker’s physical pratfalls of series 17 there are noticeably fewer wisecracks made between the Doctor and Romana, and the concentration is now on not only political but scientific wording : discussions hinge here on the likes of tachyon recreation generators, anti-baryon shields, and so on. This would gain the show criticism by some long-term reviewers for being rather distant and clinical, and for fans of David Tennant’s more recent portrayal of the Doctor there are no vague ‘timey-wimey’ style explanations here.

Not as accessible to a casual viewer as in the past, perhaps, but there are at least strong and more serious performances from most of the guest cast. David Haig, well-known now for playing comic supporting roles alongside Hugh Grant in the likes of Four Weddings And A Funeral and Two Weeks’ Notice, shines as the increasingly militant and deranged Pangol, convincingly developing the character from apparently good-humoured tour guide to hate-filled fanatic, and making his ultimate defeat suitably poetic. Adrienne Corri also puts in good work as the dignified and wise Mena, and Laurence Payne, who would go on to appear as the ambitious scientist Dastari in the Colin Baker story The Two Doctors , plays the short-lived Chairman Of The Board, Morix, who desperately wants to finish the negotiations over the Hive before his imminent demise. Nigel Lambert also has plenty to do as Hardin, and forms a trusting bond with Baker’s Doctor. There are also great cliffhangers to part 1 ( where the Doctor is apparently dismembered by the Generator ) and part 2 ( where the Doctor emerges from the machine prematurely aged ).

Following on from the notorious ‘commentaries’ which accompany the DVD releases, much has been made of the tensions between Tom Baker and other cast members this season, which, coupled with the apparent after-effects of an illness that he caught in Australia, bring a world-weariness to his performances that had been totally lacking in previous years. Coupled with the need for him to play an aged version of his character, complete with long beard and sad eyes, Baker suddenly seems far more subdued, less comic ( even the ‘arrest the scarf’ comment he makes on being accused of Stimson’s murder is glossed over ) and even when not aged by the machine his portrayal here comes across much more consciously autumnal – when K9 ‘dies’ from going in the water at the beginning he continues to snooze, remains seated during his conversation with Romana and falls asleep again before she has finished. The more mature, less garish and more stylised black and burgundy version of his ‘costume’, which Baker allegedly did not approve of, arguably adds to this sense of decline, as well as his occasionally gaunt appearance, broody demeanour and slightly greyer hair. On the issue of his superbly-realised ‘aged’ appearance after entering the Generator special mention should go to make-up artist Dorka Nieradzik, and Baker’s increasingly drained, wistful and desperate performance has garnished great praise, for all the rumours of bad behaviour on the set.

Then of course there’s poor old K9, with his original voicer John Leeson back in the fold. With his indisputable logic and lethal lasers, the ‘metal dog’ had been such a useful ally to the Doctor and Romana in the past, particularly in season 17, but here he’s pretty much sidelined in scene one after his dip in the Channel – a deliberate ploy from the new production team that would become a regularity until the character was written out later in the season. The character had been seen as too easy a way for the heroes to escape from potentially difficult situations, hence lessening the danger and heightening the humour, and so spends much of s18 being mistreated, repaired or generally being out of action. If there were such a thing as the ‘Royal Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Droids’, then they would have had a field day with the majority of stories in s18.

The Leisure Hive represents a dour new direction for Who under JNT and, more temporarily, Bidmead. Technobabble takes over from titters, longeurs from laughs, and the fact that the show struggled for viewing figures up against the more light-hearted sci-fi of Buck Rogers is perhaps not so surprising in hindsight. In fairness however the serial, whilst containing one or two costuming and plotting issues, and whilst rarely remembered as either a fun romp likeCity Of Death or a gothic masterpiece like Talons Of Weng-Chiang, did at least allow the show to develop

greatly away from the sometimes farcical tone of the previous show. It also establishes the themes that would, in some form or another, encompass the entire season.

MEGLOS

Written by John Flanagan and Andrew McCulloch. Directed by Terence Dudley

Plot

An old friend of the Doctor’s, Zastor, requests that he visit his planet of Tigella (one of two planets in the Prion star system, the other being Zolfa-Thura) to help investigate why the Dodecahedron (the source of their power) is fluctuating. The problem is compounded by the fact that their society is split into two tribes – the Savants, who have used its power scientifically, and the Deons, who believe that the Dodecahedron has been passed down from the god Ti. However, the TARDIS is trapped within a time loop by the last remaining Zolfa-Thuran, a cactus-like Meglos who has enlisted the help of some Gaztak mercenaries, led by the grumpy General Grugger and the impulsive Brotadac, and forces an Earthling to merge with him to enable him to take the Doctor’s identity. The Doctor needs to free himself and Romana from the time loop, stop Lexa and the rest of the Deons from launching a coup, prevent his own execution at Lexa’s hands and stop Meglos and the gaztaks making off with the dodecahedron.

‘A talking cactus, a devilish Doctor doppelganger – is Douglas Adams back on board?’

Review

After the serious introduction to the new season with the dramatically different The Leisure Hive, Meglos appears on paper to be a surprisingly quick return to the more whimsical, not to say fantastical style of storytelling of s16 and particularly s17. A talking cactus with aspirations to steal an immensely-powerful device and disguising itself as a diabolical double of the Doctor, whilst enlisting the help of a semi-comic selection of blundering space pirates. On the face of it, a return to the light-hearted entertainment of the show’s then recent past.

However Meglos touches on themes which had always been central to Doctor Who, in particular the battle between science and religion – here represented by the scientific Savants, led by Deedrix and the fanatical religious figures of the Deons, led by Lexa. This is slightly at odds with what could have been an unusually knockabout and daft adventure in the gloomy season 18. Inevitably the Deons are shown to be stubborn and struggle to listen to reason, though like the Savants ultimately their intentions are noble, and whereas in the past a race of scientists has not always managed to co-exist with others – note the strained ‘union’ between the Sevateem and the Tesh in the season 14 story, “The Face Of Evil” – at least there is a genuine chance of co-operation after the heroic death of Lexa and the destruction of the Dodecahedron.

Typical to the season, however, there are also themes of society being in decay and needing a revolution or change, and the attempted sacrifice of the Doctor by the increasingly powerful Lexa links back to rituals in stories such as The Power Of Kroll, where not only is such barbarism is shown as primitive, xenophobic and closed-minded, but the Dexans’ increasing dominance actually allows the pirates to make off with the Dodecahedron. Once again the Doctor arrives at the correct time, as unbeknown to the Tigellans Meglos is launching a plan that will take advantage of the Time Lords’ friendship with Zastor, and curiously it is Meglos’ abuse of the Doctor’s privileged position that, having threatened his life, allows him to bring down the threat to the fractured society and help it develop.

In fairness the suspicion of the Doctor is on this occasion understandable, due to the very convincing impersonation by the human-melded Meglos, even though it is never really explained why the villains needed to go to all the trouble of obtaining an apparently random human earthling was needed for this rather than a local Tigellan. It is also not convincingly explained how Meglos performs many of his actions in this serial, from the shrinking of the dodecahedron to the piloting of the spaceship, to the sealing the doors shut to prevent the Gaztaks from looting the ship, to the notorious ‘Chronic Hysteresis’. not to mention how the character is able to give the appreciative Brotadac the Doctor’s coat for good keeping.

On the subject of the titular villain, Tom Baker surpasses himself in the role of his own adversary, contrasting nicely even with his now more subdued – and occasionally grouchy, note the opening scene in the TARDIS – Doctor. Having already proven his ability to play an ‘evil’ version of the Doctor by briefly doubling as his robot imposter in “The Android Invasion”, Baker is asked here to play both the Doctor and the main villain for most of the story, and in doing so provides it with its ‘draw’. Baker steals the show every time he is on-screen as the villain, whether roaring “I am Meglos!” at Karris, shouting “Patience!” at the excitable but dim-witted Brotadac or coldly stating, “We mustn’t disappoint the Tigellans” to his co-conspirators, upon first appearing to them and the viewers in the Doctor’s guise. The actor’s excellence keep the strange premise grounded, and provides the unusual but excellent cliffhanger to episode 1.

Baker is great too at subtly enhancing the Doctor’s softer, warmer qualities when he pretends to be the disguised Meglos in return. The spiky green make-up for the actor as Meglos fights against the Earthling trying to exert his independence from him is excellent, and as on the Leisure Hive the production values are strong, including the scenes toward the stories’ climax where the Doctor and Meglos are locked away together as there is not the usual superimposing problem of having the same actor on screen twice. Indeed the two characters are immediately personally distinct in every way, which again stands as a compliment to Baker’s ability, even it renders the obvious subterfuge on the viewer less convincing than expected – there’s rarely a moment of doubt as to which ’version’ of the Doctor is which. Still, whatever criticisms Baker had of the changes made to Doctor Who for his last season, the first two stories in particular give him a great chance to play outside the normal constraints of the Time Lord’s character.

Unsurprisingly then it’s the lead actor’s show, but there are other strong performances. Lalla Ward is given plenty to do as Romana – note her curious reaction in the opening scene in the TARDIS when Baker states “First things first – but not necessarily in that order”, and it’s good to see K9 get a serious run-out after his ‘cameo’ in the opening scene of The Leisure Hive, though the metal dog is no sooner repaired than he runs out of power and is demeaningly kicked by Grugger. Stand-out among the guest cast is the surprise return of former Who star Jacqueline Hill (a rare case of an actor/actress who had portrayed a former companion, in her case Barbara Wright, returning in a guest role), giving a three-dimensional performance and instilling some genuine debating skills into the character rather than portraying her as just a two-dimensional ranting religious zealot – she even heroically lays down her life for Romana. Crawford Logan and Christopher Owen are also committed as Deedrix and the ‘possessed’ Earthling respectively, although Bill Fraser’s role as the grumpy, blustering Grugger is something he had by now been rather typecast in, after similar roles in comic films alongside the likes of Frankie Howerd. Though intended as mostly comic relief, Frederick Treves is mostly as annoying to the audience as the coat-obsessed Brotadac as he is to his fellow schemers, whilst Edward Underdown’s Zastor sadly fails to convince as any kind of leader even before his attempted deposing by Lexa.

Again the production values are more convincing than in then recent years : Meglos’ spaceship is clinical but convincingly high-tech, and the contrast between the white of the Savants and the red attire with black headgear of the Deons is simple, but striking. Perhaps for budgetary reasons the dodecahedron is shielded from the audiences’ view whilst still in its larger form, however, and its underwhelming ‘detonation’ at the end, to the chagrin of the squabbling villains, is a rather throwaway ending to the serial. There is also a fairly unconvincing sequence at the end of episode 2, where Romana is chased and apprehended by the Gaztaks, led by a shrill and rather unthreatening Brotadac, and once again the production team’s attempts to convincingly recreate the surface of a vegetative world look over ambitious, although it is still far from the worst ever seen on the show.

Peter Howell handles the incidental music for the story, and for the most part does very well at supplying apt atmospheric touches to different occasions and situations – the eerie rattle musical cue for Meglos immediately grabs the audience’s attention whenever he appears, which combined with Baker’s unblinking and stern-faced portrayal is the highlight of the serial. There is also the use of stately music in the early Debating Chamber sequences establishes the society well, and the increasingly fast-tempo use of ‘chanting’ vocoders in the sequence where Lexa is attempting to sacrifice the Doctor builds to a tense climax as the rope burns away.

There are also welcome touches of humour peppered throughout the tale, surprisingly for this more austere season, although fan reaction to these is often exaggerated due to the notable absence of comedy in the other stories. Furthermore, unlike the latter stages of the Williams era some of them actually seem to have been in the script originally, and those that do appear more improvised and natural are a little more tightly-edited and not allowed to get out of hand. That said, there are more unguarded moments that appear to have been allowed through – the previously mentioned one from Lalla Ward in the opening TARDIS scene, where she clearly winces, and one from a giggling Baker in the initial scene of the ‘time loop’. Other jokes, where Zastor chides Deedrix for being argumentative or during the Chronic Hysteris – which was itself widely criticised as being part of padding to increase the story from 3 to 4 parts – where K9 addresses the Doctor as Mistress, are dealt with in a more deadpan fashion that would have been the case in the past. The previously mentioned long-running joke about Brotadac’s obsession with Meglos’ discarded coat which he ends up wearing also works as a metaphor of changed identity, along with Meglos’ adoption of the Fourth Doctor’s persona, the fight for control of the Earthling and the spooky moment where the Doctor ends up facing his doppelganger. That comes immediately after the belly-laugh moment where the Doctor witnesses Meglos being winded and apprehended, opining “Ooh nasty – that could have been me!” before exactly the same fate happens to him seconds later. “Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?” states Baker upon facing his double, a sequence that briefly harks back to the ready wit and fun of the previous season.

But whilst not nearly as bleak as other season 18 stories such as The Leisure Hive, Warriors Gate or particularly Logopolis, Meglos also continues the former story’s theme of society stagnating, and the impasse between the Savants and the Deons in the opening debate being mirrored by the TARDIS crew being trapped by the Chronic Hysteris. The famous, endlessly-looping short sequence of comic events (the Doctor tripping over, Romana’s casual exasperation), which the crew escape by deliberately performing it out of turn, is regularly remarked on as a comment on the show’s former failings under the Williams era. It’s possible to imagine JNT and Bidmead saying Romana’s repeatedly circling opening groan of “Oh blast – here we go again!” to the previous season’s similar frolics, but here the sombre incidental music, and the way that Baker and Ward’s previously lightheartedness changes to real concern at the possibility of being stuck in it forever, makes the threat more unsettling than comic. This feeling is reinforced when a serious-faced and malevolent Baker subsequently appears as the transformed Meglos has been criticised for having a lightweight conclusion, and the comments are valid. Overall, though, is still a very enjoyable adventure in the classic Doctor Who mould, with generally strong acting and with its less downbeat mood it breaks up the more weighty stories that make up season 18, and one featuring a very impressive dual role from the still impressive Tom Baker. The next three stories, making up the E-Space trilogy, would see a return to a more thematically-rich style of storytelling.

E-SPACE TRILOGY

FULL CIRCLE

Written by Andrew Smith. Directed by Peter Grimwade

Plot

The Doctor tries to take the reluctant Romana back to Gallifrey, but pass through a Charged Vacuum Emboitment. Despite the scanner showing that they are on their home planet, they have actually landed on Alzerius, containing people whose origins are from another planet, Terradon. There is a schism between the crew who wish to take off in the Starliner (led by Three Deciders) to return to Terradon and a band of outcasts who reject the oligarchy of the Deciders. When the Mistfall descends, strange Marshmen start to emerge from the swamps, and spider-like creatures start to hatch from eggs that have come from the Riverfruit that make up part of the colonists’ diet, and the outcasts take refuge on board the Starliner which puts the crew at further risk. As well as trying to prevent Romana from devolving when she is bitten by a spider the Time Lord tries to discover what the connection is between the the spiders, the Marshmen and the crew, and just how long they have been preparing to leave Alzerius…

‘The Doctor and Romana immediately regret entering E-Space – and on top of Adric there are Marshmen for them to deal with, too…

Review.

It’s off into E-Space we go with the Doctor, for a trilogy of very different adventures : an evolutionary tale, a Hammer horror homage and an experimental mind-bender. Full Circle, the first of the trio, harks back in some ways to the ‘sympathetic monsters’ and moral dilemmas of early Pertwee-era Who, despite the higher production values and extra sheen. Furthermore it adds an extra twist to the genre as well as another element of variety to an already varied season, with the revelation that the Marshmen, and the Marshspiders before them, are ultimately the same race as the crew – and the circle of life will continue unabated unless drastic change is made.

Full Circle is the first story by the then 18-year old Andrew Smith, and it has to be adjudged a success, never gaining cheap criticism over the years in the manner of either the ‘derivative’ vampire tale State Of Decay or the ‘overly-complicated’ or ‘baffling’ Warriors’ Gate, with Smith’s scripts proving remarkably multi-layered and mature for the author’s age. The story also succeeds in introducing the unlikely ( and unpopular ) future companion of Adric in a subplot, where the adolescent fruitlessly endeavours to prove himself to his brother Varsh and his friends in much the way that the Starliners’ crew try to prove to themselves that they are not trapped on Alzerius. This determination to gain respect would be a characteristic that, whatever one thinks of the character and Matthew Waterhouse’s performance, would define the character through to his surprise exit in the Davison years.

The atmosphere is definitely murkier than the more ‘straight-ahead story’ of the preceding Meglos. The idea of Mistfall clearly fills the locals with a sense of dread, and the spooky music during part 1, including electronic drums and pan-pipe style synths as well as the usual minor-key motifs, enhances the menace of the bubbling swamps. Moreover the Doctor himself is fairly slow to get to the scene, too late to save Decider Draith who is chillingly dragged into the swamp whilst accosting Adric. The idea of being locked away on the sterile Starliner for up to ten years is shown as being almost as much of a punishment as being left outside during the Mistfall, and the irony that the crew have never learnt to fly the fully active Starliner seemingly condemns them to their needless fate, the same as befell the previous 40 000 or so generations.

There are strong central performances to enhance the clever concept, too. Baker shows charming little flashes of humour: when he meets the Marsh Child “How odd – I usually get on terribly well with children!” or flashing the now-rare grin when the Deciders introduce themselves to him, “And I’m the Doctor!”, quiet inquisitiveness in the opening two episodes, his usual unpredictable reactions to events, one amusing telling-off of Adric upon a crowd of Alzerians emerging from the TARDIS, “What is this, Noah’s ark!?” and finally roaring his dismissal of the Deciders’ flimsy moral self-defence after the Marshchild’s death, “Not an alibi – Deciders!” make this another strong outing for his portrayal of the Time Lord. But it’s Lalla Ward who gets the plaudits this time, coming into her own away from Baker’s Doctor. Here we see Ward able to play a more assertive yet nuanced version of Romana – witness her cheerful admonishment of Adric for asking her to touch his wounded knee – acting despondently upon hearing that she is wanted back on Gallifrey, during the quietly intimate scene with Baker in her quarters on the TARDIS, or the scene where, with the help of Adric, she disarms Varsh and points the knife at him before calmly handing it back. But the piece de resistance is the moment where she gets possessed by the spider – just as Baker got to play against the preconceptions of the audience in previous adventures, here it is Ward’s turn, and she rises to the occasion.

One of the accusations always levelled at the classic series of Doctor Who is that it contains wobbly sets and rubbery monsters, but here the season again defies this – if only to a point. The Marshmen arising from the swamp represent a dramatic (if unfortunately curtailed) climax to part 1, and the Marshchild comes across as a genuinely innocent and sympathetic character whom the audience immediately feels sorry for. As a contrast, however, the scuttling spiders are far less realistic, and Romana’s initial dismissal of them seems a more appropriate reaction than her subsequent terror. However the interiors of the Starliner are minimalist but effective, and the Inquisition chamber beautifully balances the black and grey décor with the gold of the Deciders, whilst the make-up for Romana’s ‘possession’ is also a winner.

One aspect of the production that becomes apparent from here on in, and would become an even more noticeable problem during Davison’s tenure as the Doctor, however, is the ‘costuming’ of some of the regulars. Whilst Romana here appears in a strikingly different red gold and white apparel as opposed to her ‘sailor’ outfit of the first two transmitted tales, the Doctor’s attire, though stylish, distinctive and more urbane than his previous ‘random collection’ of clothes, is by now seeming to be as much a ‘uniform’ as clothes of choice. Whilst Davison’s Doctor’s inflexible cricket garb and Colin Baker’s notorious multi-coloured coat when playing the role are worse intruders in this sense than the 4th Doctor’s’ burgundy outfit, JNT’s stating that this was for merchandising reasons only half-convinces, and has given rise to speculation that this was also an attempt to ensure that Baker played the Doctor as a dramatic part and not simply as an extension of the more comic side of his real-life personality. In any case, considering how many times the Doctor lands on a planet or spacecraft and is instantly threatened or ‘tried’ for a crime by suspicious individuals, coupled with the amount of clothing that we have seen on several occasions within the TARDIS, it makes little sense that he would now ensure that he or his companions would look even more out of place than usual, and therefore place themselves in immediate danger and hinder his investigations. In the near future, Adric’s off-yellow and grey ‘pyjama’ outfit becomes a particularly hideous example of this once he stows away on board the TARDIS, in this adventure.

On the subject of Adric, Matthew Waterhouse gets a great deal of bad press for his performance here as Adric, and his general attempts in the future at trying to display the character’s often contradictory qualities of intelligence and well-meaning kindness whilst being naïve and desperate to impress. Actually his performance in Full Circle is not too bad, displaying a pragmatic side (when he advises that Romana look outside the door rather than look for technological ways of surveying the surface of the planet), brief moments of burgeoning sexuality (the aforementioned scene with Romana), bravery (when he helps Romana fight off the River people), and ironically reacting more calmly and naturally to the Doctor than in later adventures. He still finds himself on the receiving end of a fair few Baker broadsides throughout the adventure, however, as does Romana, and commentaries on the E-Space trilogy box-set have proved rather candid on the deteriorating communications on-set at the time – such as Baker allegedly not looking at his co-stars during takes if riled. Perhaps more pertinently during his time on the show, the character’s occasional sulks or ill-considered wilfulness, such as one which indirectly leads to Decider Draith’s death, hindered his would-be allies and greatly alienated viewers, right up to the character’s final story.

Of the rest of the cast, Richard Willis impressed many as the more headstrong Varsh, by some way the best of the actors playing the Outlers and unfortunately casting a shadow over the appointment of Adric as companion, and the death of his brother saving his life would be rather glossed over for much of the mathematician’s time on board the TARDIS. George Baker is probably the best of the Deciders, although Leonard Maguire impresses as the ill-fated Draith. The musical accompaniment, like many this season, is of a high standard, particularly the Church organ-style music during the ‘Decider’ scenes on board the Starliner.

The subject of resistance to change, or an (in)ability to adapt is a key theme to Full Circle. The Marshmen are observed by Romana as adapting to their new environment quickly when she admonishes Varsh and the others; in contrast are the inhabitants of the Starliner, who in some cases show a struggle to develop without the Doctor’s assistance – take the scene where the three Deciders each expect the others to come up with a solution to the Marshmen invasion. There is a neat moment where the Doctor remarks to Adric that “we’ve come full circle”, which his new companion remarks is what the scientists have observed – which can be compared with the Chronic Hysteris sequence in Meglos . Ultimately the two remaining Deciders are forced to make a decision on whether the Starliner stays and their race continues to go full circle or leaves, and evolves, and the fact that they depart Alzerius – albeit with a little prodding from the Doctor – provides the positive resolution to the story. Apathy is defeated, though the theme of stagnation and disinterest would again surface during the E-Space trilogy (Warriors’ Gate).

Full Circle is another strong story, well-directed by debutant Peter Grimwade and with plenty of opportunity for both Baker’s Doctor and Ward’s Romana to shine in a well-written script that disproves the addage that first-time or ‘fan’ writers cannot come up with the goods. The addition of Adric’s ‘boy genius’ to the TARDIS crew would allegedly cause ructions on-set, but the theme of change prevalent in the tale is particularly apt here – with the arrival of Adric, the process of change had begun of the crew themselves. By the end of the season the Doctor, Romana and K9 would all, like the crew of the Starliner, be gone…

E-SPACE TRILOGY

STATE OF DECAY. Written By Terrance Dicks. Directed by Peter Moffatt

Plot

Still trapped in E-Space The Doctor, Romana, K9 and the stowed-away Adric arrive on an unnamed planet. They are surprised to find that it is almost feudal, and note that the villagers are in fear of the ‘Three Who Rule’: elusive beings who dwell in a nearby Tower, and with the help of their guards, the Habris, seem to be behind the annual disappearance of a number of the younger villagers. Threatened by the Lords’ guards and the mysterious ‘Wasting’, the adventurers look to investigate the reason why the corpses of the missing villagers are drained of blood, whether the Three Who Rule and the Tower itself are linked to a spaceship which once landed there, and whether a long-standing enemy of the Time Lords could be behind the current state of decay…

‘It isn’t just the young stowaway on the TARDIS who’s’ proving a pain in the neck…’

Review.

“It’ll be dark soon” notes Romana towards the end of the first episode, and this observation highlights not only the ethos of the gloomy march to oblivion of season 18 of Doctor Who but more specifically the phobia of creatures that fear the sunlight. And the fact that State Of Decay is the title is something of an irony, as not only is the story about a society that has become something of a regression but the story itself is something of a throwback, being as it is a rewrite of an adventure initially intended to take place in the Gothic days of s15.

During the earlier days of the Tom Baker era classic monsters from film and literature had been the subject of homage successfully. His very first story (Robot ) was a tip of the hat to King Kong, and another of his earlier adventures (The Brain Of Morbius) was clearly inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. So why not take the vampire legend and put that unique Doctor Who spin on it too?

Of course Gothic Horror such as The Brain Of Morbius had been successfully done during the Hinchcliffe era, and even when not featuring any kind of horror genre-related villain, it had been a defining feel of early Tom Baker stories such as series 12, 13 and 14. Indeed, an early form of the serial had been submitted by Terrance Dicks back in 1977 during the Hinchcliffe era called The Witch Lords, and was intended to open series 15, but due to a clash with a BBC adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula the claustrophobic, lighthouse-based story Horror Of Fang Rock (which was perhaps even more horror-inspired) was commissioned instead. With hindsight, then, one can see such a story fitting in well to that period of Tom Baker’s tenure.

The title and theme of State Of Decay slot more appropriately into this entropy-obsessed season, however, and encapsulate the general theme of societies in decay, decline and regression. The Doctor’s conversation with Camilla and Zargo in the second episode highlights this, as does his subsequent chat with Romana where he deduces that the vampires are the original crew of Hydrax, and that the ‘throne room’ was once the spaceship’s control booth. The planet is clearly in a state of devolution, obvious from the scene where the Doctor talks of ‘consonantal shift’ explaining the changing of the Three That Rule’s names over a great period of time and the fact that the control room is now a throne room, and from the moment the villagers produce communicators and other hi-tech devices yet, as in Full Circle, are unable to explain what ‘the Wasting’ actually is. Once again, such self-destructive traditions and fears are questioned by the Doctor upon his arrival, and by doing so he prevents a society from stagnating – ironically causing the literal ‘wasting away’ of the Three That rule when he slays the Great Vampire.

Another theme that rears its head is the easiness of waiting for things to improve rather than taking risks to ensure that they do. The scene where Tarak, Kalmar and the others argue in the dwelling highlights a theme that was particularly noticeable in the previous story, Full Circle, where the crew of the Starliner showed an unwillingness to learn how to launch a perfectly functional Starship, actually sabotaging it to avoid doing so. Kalmar admits he is prepared to put off any revolution for several generations if necessary, and apart from Tarak the others agree that it is ‘too soon’. The acquisition of knowledge is seen as the greatest power in a society like theirs, as Camilla remarks to Zargo, and this is backed up by Tarak’s remarks to the others about the importance of the Doctor. It is no coincidence that Aukon comes across as the most knowledgeable of the vampires and is also effectively their leader.

The planet is realised onscreen as largely a plush and convincing environment, and the ‘covering up’ of high-tech equipment among apparently mediaeval settings is convincingly done, enhanced by the sometimes occasionally archaic incidental music, whilst accentuating the spooky threat of the vampires. The use of location filming during the first episode gives the chance for a surprisingly relaxed-looking Doctor and Romana to stroll through genuine flora at dusk, and the moment where the bats (aka ‘The Wasting’) bite the Doctor and fly over them could be straight out of a classic Hammer film. The superimposing of a bat over Aukon during episode 1 shows a stylised touch which previous Who had rarely attempted, and is a memorable image which removes the need for stilted information dumps. Clothing-wise the more stylised, two-tone black and burgundy Baker fits in perfectly here, of course, despite seeming a little more chipper than at certain other times this season. There is an ominous moment the moment we first see the Doctor in the TARDIS, however, where Romana is concerned at his pained expression, which seemingly doesn’t bode well long-term for this incarnation of the Time Lord. Baker’s Doctor had always been famous for almost cheerfully enduring physical pain in early stories like Arc In Space, or dealing with being menaced by monsters in tales like Nightmare Of Eden in farcical fashion – not any more.

Adric has a rather strange adventure here, however, showing ‘Artful Dodger’-style cheekiness (which was originally how the character was envisaged), but his inward and easily malleable nature makes him less than sympathetic. Within moments of being caught entering the villagers’ dwelling he is helping himself to their food and their son’s coat, though with hindsight it’s a shame that he didn’t continue to wear this more natural looking garment during his time on the show instead of his horrendous yellow ‘pyjama’ outfit. Furthermore the Alzerian later displays turncoat-style behaviour in apparently acquiescing to become like the Lords, and gives an unconvincing explanation to Romana about fooling them into a false sense of security. Whether due to Waterhouse’s performance or a conflicting script, Adric’s behaviour during this adventure never convincingly comes across as anything other than self-serving, even though he does eventually attempt to slay Zargo towards the end of the tale as the Time Lord and Lady are threatened. This portrayal of the character contrasts with the more plausible attempts he made to help the Doctor and Romana in his debut story Full Circle. K9 finally gets to have a less battering adventure of his own here, a rare event this season, and delivers a cutting summary of Adric in the TARDIS upon discovering the stowaway – “Immature humanoid – non-hostile.”

Characterisation is generally inconsistent in this story, sadly. Ivo, head of the village, shows equally unfathomable motives throughout, going from acceptance of any uprising to betraying it. This is unfortunate when the humans are clearly shown to be the oppressed and disadvantaged peoples of the planet, ruthlessly preyed on by the Lords. More appealing by far is Arthur Hewlett as Kalmar, with his quiet subversion evoking memories of Timothy Bateson as Binro the Heretic in the Key To Time adventure The Ribos Operation, and Thane Bettany as Tarak, who in contrast to his peers shows the charisma and the bravery to defy both the Three Who Rule and the once loyal villagers who now serve under Habris and his guards. On the subject of the Lords, Emrys James is imposing and entertaining as the dominant Aukon, though his dominant performance does reduce Rachel Davies’ Camilla and William Lindsay’s Zargo to the role of hissing, bickering sidekicks whenever he is present.

There are other quite noticeable flaws. The on-screen realisation of the Great Vampire is a disappointment almost on the scale of the Skarasen in Terror Of The Zygons, and the rocket going straight up and then straight back down to pierce its heart, is poetic but truly corny. The use of blood as ‘fuel’ over such a long period of the time raises the simple question of why has it not evaporated or gone bad, being organic, not to mention the fact that the planet’s population now seems extremely meagre for them to continue plundering. Considering how the peasants’ society has regressed over time it is surprisingly easy for the Doctor to get them up-to-speed with the high-tech equipment, and it is equally surprising they have not destroyed or thrown it out once it became useless to them. It is also difficult to work out what the ‘perks’ of becoming a guard are, as the Three That Rule still threaten to feed them to the great one upon the slightest failing, and show no concern when informed that they are dying.

State Of Decay is not perfect and with its use of hypnotism, mind-reading and other vampire cliches, seems a little out of place in a season heavy on science, but it remains a stylish story even today, for sure, and though criticised for being something of a derivative horror story given the Doctor Who treatment, it is nonetheless watchable and reinforces the themes of the season as directly as any of the stories without being too heavy-going. Those who criticised the story for perhaps lacking much under the surface or for being too simple would soon see the flip-side of the coin…

E-SPACE TRILOGY

WARRIOR’S GATE

Written by Stephen Gallagher. Directed by Paul Joyce ( assisted by Graham Harper )

Plot

At the point where N-Space and E-Space meet, a time-sensitive Tharil named Biroc escapes from a slaver cargo vessel holding others of his kind, and hijacks the TARDIS which, like the slave vessel, has become trapped there, near a gateway. He warns them that the slavers are following him and that they cannot be trusted. The Commander of the slaver ship, Rorvik, is determined to recapture Biroc who has been navigating them, and is becoming increasingly irritated at both the entrapment of his ship and the rest of his crew’s apparent disinterest in escaping. The Doctor will need all of his wits to investigate a mysterious gateway and an abandoned banquet hall nearby, utilise a number of mirrors which provide passage for time-sensitive aliens, avoid the threat of the malfunctioning Gundan robotic knights, rescue the captured Romana from Rorvik who believes her to be time-sensitive too and intends her to replace Biroc, and prevent both the slave ship from diminishing the Gateway into nothingness and its captain from misjudging the power of the mirrors and destroying everyone…

‘Who knew E-Space could get so complicated’?

Review.

One of the fascinations of Doctor Who, particularly in its’ ‘classic’ days, was the sheer range of its types of storytelling, and s18 had already encompassed this – a sly satire on the culture and holiday business ( The Leisure Hive ); a fantastical ‘villain with delusions of grandeur’ tale ( Meglos ); a pacifistic and environmentally-aware precautionary tale of evolution ( Full Circle ) and a homage to the horror genre ( State Of Decay ). With the 5th story to be released chronologically, however, season 18 went one stage further, with a bizarre tale of time-travelling reformed aliens, cruel and listless humans, mysterious mirrors and mystical castles, which showed influences from sources as diverse as Jean Cocteau, Stanley Kubrick, C S Lewis and Mervyn Peake.

Warrior’s Gate , though utterly distinct from either, ranks with The Mind Robber during the Patrick Troughton era and Ghost Light during the McCoy era as one of the most experimental serials in the show’s history, featuring concepts that would baffle any first-time viewer. Furthermore, faced with the need to convincingly wrap up the E-Space trilogy (which had had little bearing on the previous adventure other than the Vampires had fled there to hide from the Time Lords), return the Doctor to N-Space and plot the departures of both Romana and the now long-suffering K9, it would need to include a convincing reason why they would choose this moment to depart. Not only did the writer succeed in doing this, and expanding on the themes of season 18 as a whole, but they managed to create a world like no other in the Doctor Who canon – the Tharils, the mirrors, the gateway, the abandoned hall, the shrinking dimensions and the time winds are all strikingly original, to an almost daunting degree when all are presented at once.

Once again the Doctor finds himself faced by a pseudo-tyrant, in the form of the blustering and impatient human Commander Rorvik, “We’re back in nowhere” mutter the crew near the beginning of the story, and this sums up the quandary they find themselves in, and Rorvik’s desperation to escape. In typical series 18 fashion it is not so much the prospect of death but that of being trapped or regressing which seems to breed even greater apathy and fear of action in both the time-sensitive Tharils (represented most strongly by the noble yet enigmatic Biroc), who are clearly being mistreated and even killed, and their new masters the privateer crew. The theme of devolution is present in the Tharils once being masters but now being slaves, and that of apathy is evident not only in their failure to rebel until the Doctor and Romana arrive, but also in the crew who show little urgency to escape E-Space, although their inertia is not wholly condemned by the fact that as the Doctor says to Biroc, “sometimes it’s best to do nothing, if it’s the right sort of nothing.”

In many ways it should be possible to have sympathy for the crew for the literal and metaphorical limbo they find themselves in, despite the casual cruelties they inflict on their former masters. “Nowhere to go and no way of getting there” remarks Rorvik sourly to the crew at one point, and they say nothing. In many ways the void the crew are in, trapped between N Space and E Space, reflects their state of mind. This sense of aimlessness then ensures that they remain trapped, their lack of personal progression being displayed in their concern with maximising their bonuses rather than escaping the void. Following on from the theme shown in the likes of Meglos of individuals failing to evolve and going round in circles (the Chronic Hysteresis), and the same thing happening to societies in The Leisure Hive, Full Circle and State Of Decay, Warriors’ Gate takes the extra idea of the oppressors becoming the oppressed – with the Tharils having been defeated by their then ‘inferiors’ rising up and defeating them with the aid of the Gundans. The decay of the Tharil civilisation after that revolution ties in with the idea presented in State Of Decay, where the fortunes of the oppressed are actually declining the longer they allow the current state of affairs to continue.

“It’s always darkest before the storm” says the Doctor, linking to Romana’s comment about night being about to fall in the previous story, and though the murky huts, darkened ‘tower’ and gloomy wood of the previous story are stylistically completely opposite to the well-lit spaceship, white void and fantastical castle behind the Gateway, there is a similar underlying bleakness about this story. The Doctor himself seems to have developed something of a death wish, where he nearly pushes a button that would have destroyed the TARDIS in the first episode and recognises that chance is in itself not an explanation for what he could have done. When he faces apparent decapitation by the Gundans he seems, at times, strangely resigned to his fate, albeit cheerful when he is not ultimately killed. In fact this story could be seen as the ultimate encapsulation of the Doctor succeeding by being ‘passive’ – such as his aforementioned comment to Biroc, his tolerance of Biroc and acceptance of a logic which is alien to him and finally his opposing of Rorvik’s rashness in trying to escape E-Space, even though it is something the Doctor himself wishes to do.

Lalla Ward, generally considered to have steadily improved as an actress since her initial Doctor Who appearance as Princess Astra in The Armageddon Factor, puts in one of her finest performances, and so whilst her departure at the end to stay with Rorvik in E-Space has been signposted – both by her comment in Full Circle to the Doctor and her earlier remark to Adric that she and the Doctor may soon be going their separate ways – it is a curiously rushed scene when she and K9 depart, with the Doctor’s comment, “You were the noblest Romana of them all” standing in sharp contrast to the increasing discord that Baker and Ward’s relationship was going through at the time. As for poor K9, after his more dignified treatment in State Of Decay he’s back to being abused with a vengeance here: overheating, running out of power, getting kicked and thrown away all in the same story. To literally add insult to injury he is even belittled by Adric! It’s difficult not to see this constant belittling of the character as being alienating to the children who were intended to be his fanbase, and for the character’s sake it is good to see his suffering end as the Doctor orders him to stay with Romana and the Tharils.

Surprisingly in such a ‘puzzle within a puzzle’ story, characters such as Aldo and Royce provide effective and accessible humour, and the two succeed in grounding what could have been a grim and incomprehensible story with some down-to-earth observations and their general laissez-faire attitude, and their cowardice only goes further to ensure that they will not escape from the gateway. Kenneth Cope puts in as reliable a performance as ever as the more level-headed, no-nonsense Packard, the perfect foil to Clifford Rose’s irascible Rorvik. Even Rorvik himself is not a stereotypical villain, however, as his frustration is understandable when surrounded by the apathy and counter-productive attitude of the crew, and the fact that he causes his crew’s death by the hot-headed action in trying to blast away is an irony in a season where inaction is often seen as the worst thing to do. As he himself remarks caustically to the Doctor “I’m finally getting something done!” It is a bleak conclusion to a tale where all the humans

are apparently killed in the inevitable blastback, regardless of whether they agree with Rorvik’s rash but understandable action.

Warrior’s Gate is undeniably complex. Whilst well-made with remarkable effects and brimming with intriguing ideas its mixture of mind-bending science, surreal fantasy, satirical comment and comments on self-destruction, slavery and cycles of oppression make it unlikely to top a fan’s favourite poll, and it is certainly a story that requires more than one viewing due to its density. It is also not only the end of the E-Space trilogy but the end of another era for the Fourth Doctor with the departure of long-standing companion Romana and the even longer-standing K9, and with Adric now the sole companion on board the TARDIS the Doctor prepares to return to N-Space – where an old enemy awaits…

THE KEEPER OF TRAKEN. Written by Johnny Byrne. Directed by John Black

Plot

The Doctor and Adric return to N-Space and are visited on the TARDIS by the aged and infirm Keeper Of Traken, who states that he has perceived a great evil within his potential successor Tremas and his family – wife Kassia and daughter Nyssa. Although Traken is a planet where decency is paramount, the arrival of an evil life form, calcified on arrival by the essential ‘goodness’ of the planet and now known as the Melkur, leads to the mysterious deaths of a number of citizens which are blamed on the Doctor and Adric. The Melkur has also taken control of Kassia by means of a collar, and is manipulating her in order to become Keeper himself and gain access to the source. Who is the Melkur, and why do they wish for control of the source?

‘Anthony Ainley makes his Doctor Who debut – and there’s barely a cackle in sight…’

Review

With Tom Baker’s time on board the TARDIS now drawing towards an end (it was during the filming of this serial that it was announced on the BBC that the Liverpool-born legend would be leaving the show), Season 18 continues its remarkable range of different adventures with the almost Biblically-themed Keeper Of Traken. And for the role of the snake in the garden of Eden, there can be only one long-standing adversary of the Doctor to fit the bill – the Master.

The tale of Traken is ultimately especially grim, of course, as the Master – the real force behind the evil, calcified Melkur – manipulates the people of the ‘utopia’ of Traken to not only ascend to the throne but to steal the body of the wise and open-minded Tremas, who seemed to represent a better, more astute future for Traken, and ultimately to lead to its destruction in the following episode. The corruption and destruction of the planet by the satanic Master (note the number of references to not looking into the Melkur’s or the possessed Kassia’s eyes) would of course go on to form part of a similar plot of the David Tennant story, “Utopia”, carried over into the following two episodes which concluded season 3 of the new series. Here, however, his ultimate aim is to obtain a new, healthy body, the audience being deliberately misled to think that his aim is universal domination and Jacobean-style revenge on the Doctor – though with the now more malevolent than ever Master, neither of those motives are far away either.

The season’s themes of entropy and decline cast a shadow over Traken from the beginning of the story, in the image of the dying Keeper in the TARDIS, the initially unexplained death of the old man in the grove, the notion of the Melkur immediately being pinpointed as an all-pervading evil corrupting the ‘absolute goodness’ of Traken; the still hideously-wizened figure of the Master, skulking in the Melkur and reaching out to seize the body of Tremas (an anagram of Master) in the very final scene, and the ominous fact that the clock’s hands on the Master’s newly-disguised TARDIS in that scene are at five to midnight, boding ill for the final story in the series. Curiously there is also the theme of rebirth and change after a low period, as evidenced by both Traken and the Master’s restorations by the end of the story – a theme which becomes evidenced again in Logopolis through the Doctor’s own fate.

Whilst the behind-the-scenes documentaries have often pointed the finger at Tom Baker being less than satisfied in s18, he seems calm here, and at times quite warm towards Waterhouse. In the opening scene he discusses the wonders of N-Space to Adric and even puts his arm around the young Alzerian, and shows the full array of the 4th Doctor’s emotions – humour, bafflement, empathy, grace, brief indignation, a tendency to ramble and absent-mindedness, along with a greater awareness of his incarnation’s limited timespan. “I know that feeling” states the Doctor when the aged Keeper makes a remark about feeling his age. Although Baker is clearly looking older he puts in a lively performance here, getting his famous humour into his performance when captured. “I wonder what we’ve done this time”, he whispers to Adric, and ponders aloud to his captors if they are the welcoming committee and knocks two of his opponent’s heads together with the obvious but effective quip, “two heads are better than one”. Yet he also enhances the threat of Melkur where he admonishes Tremas for wanting to keep his honour intact rather than give him the master plans so he can help save Traken.

Intriguingly the other more recent theme that had come up in Season 18 : that of changing one’s course of action rather than simply keeping the status quo not always being for the better (in Warrior’s Gate) is again referenced here, with the consul’s willing adoption of Kassia as the new Keeper proving as ill-thought out as Rorvik’s suicidal decision to try and blast free of the Gateway in the previous story. Unfortunately the combination of the apparently ‘nice to each other’ Traken peoples being generally extremely suspicious of outsiders and willing to pass death sentences on even each other quickly may try the patience of those who are supposed to sympathise, whereas in Warriors Gate, of course, the ship’s crew were led by the stories’ main villain, Rorvik. One also has to wonder why the Traken people are so convinced of the Doctor and Adric’s ‘ultimate evil’ when unlike the Melkur they have not calcified upon arriving in the grove.

Anthony Ainley, who became so maligned for his occasionally OTT performances as the Master during the Davison era, has been uniformly praised for his rounded portrayal of Tremas in The Keeper Of Traken. His compassion, knowledge of science and shrewd good judgement helps him form an immediate empathy with the Doctor, and his decency is reflected in the warmth of his daughter Nyssa (played by Sarah Sutton) whose pure-heartedness contrasts greatly with the weak-willed desperation of Kassia, who has fallen under the thrall of the Melkur. Nyssa, who would soon become a surprise long-term companion on the TARDIS, has greater character development here and in Logopolis than in many of her subsequent stories with Davison’s Doctor, due to the more obviously personal effect that the Master/Melkur’s machinations have on her. Roland Oliver’s performance as the pragmatic Proctor Neman, looking at monetary gain for himself until his shock execution, is also impressive, though it is another indictment of Traken’s supposedly virtuous society that such a corrupt character has become so prominent. John Woodnutt is as entertaining here as the self-assured and seemingly politically-astute Seron he was in dual role of Forgay/Broton in Terror Of The Zygons , and even adds a touch more fruitiness to the role this time around, and proves his good intentions as he begs Kassia to reject the evil within her.

Even Adric’s many detractors confirm that Waterhouse is on good form here, too – forming an effective double-act with future co-companion Nyssa which mirrors the Doctor-Tremas partnership. Sheila Ruskin’s Kassia is more hit-and-miss, however. She is overly histrionic in the scene where following the Keeper’s death she denounces the Doctor and Adric as the culprits for the recent evils on Traken, even considering the Shakespearian tragedy that the character is central to – her love for her husband and wish for him not to suffer and playing into the Master’s hands. Geoffrey Beevers makes up for this, however, as the silkily-evil and Iago-like Master/Melkur, although as a downside the untreated voice of the Master lacks the echoing resonance of the Melkur’s, and is less effective as a result.

To complement the well-thought out society of Traken there is an appropriately-stagey (but well-realised) combination of Elizabethan-style sets from Tony Burroughs, with the right array of lighting to denote the time of day when outside, and though the grove does not look like anything other a set in itself, it is attractive and imaginatively designed, with the off-white form of the Melkur proving a strong, contrasting image. Roger Limb’s soundtrack, though not perhaps the best of the season, is steady and stately without being too intrusive, and the costumes etc, in a range of subdued reds, blues and greys, provide a society into which the Doctor’s flowing burgundy garb fits in well, though the same can hardly be said of Adric’s attire.

The Keeper Of Traken is one of the more consistently-highly rated stories from season 18, a dark scientific fairy tale with tragic overtones but without the tone of utter gloominess that pervades the following Logopolis. Though looking a little wearied Baker is back to his energetic, more spirited and humorous self, but the arising of the Master, the time on his TARDIS’ clock-face and the mentions of “time running out” during the story are an ominous portent for what is about to happen…

LOGOPOLIS. Written by Christopher Hamilton Bidmead. Directed by Peter Grimwade

Plot

The Doctor, alerted to oncoming danger by the ringing of the Cloister Bell in the TARDIS, decides to head to Earth to measure an original police box as part of a scheme to fix his chameleon circuit with the help of the peoples of Logopolis. However the Master has materialised his TARDIS on board the Doctor’s, and due to his psychotic tendencies the deaths of a number of Logopolitans, whose chanting of a series of complex numbers keeps the entire universe in check, interrupts the process and threatens the whole of creation with entropy. Robbed of several of its workers Logopolis decays dramatically, followed by the Traken Union, and the Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and accidental new companion Tegan Jovanka join forces with the Master to prevent universal annihilation. Can the Doctor’s old nemesis be trusted even now, however, and who is the strange ghost-like figure that keeps appearing?

‘A ghostly grim-reaper and a black-clad blackheart – is time almost up for the Doctor?’

Review

The curtain finally comes down on the Fourth incarnation of the Doctor after seven hugely successful years, in what is unquestionably one of the gloomiest stories in the canon of the series. As season 18 is not exactly a barrel of laughs even at the best of times, Baker’s forlorn face, the ultimate encapsulation of the entropy theme and the utterly desolate feel all make Logopolis seem a fitting season finale, if not necessarily a wholly-satisfying end to a once so jocular incarnation of the character.

It is Tom Baker’s performance that naturally takes centre-stage here, and Matthew Waterhouse’s constant questioning and repeating his phrases in the TARDIS during the earlier scenes has to be endured as a minor distraction. As in The Keeper Of Traken there is an initially warmer rapport between the two now Romana and K9 are no longer on the scene yet Baker looks tired, drawn and fearful throughout, in a manner never seen before even in this more sombre season, and before long he is snapping his impatience with Pertwee-like fierceness. Ironically one of the rare moments he smiles (apart from the brief flash of those familiar teeth as he suggests a tour to Earth to measure a police box) is as he lies ‘dying’ at the bottom of the Pharos research Tower. Thus even in death he achieves victory – even as the Master has achieved one of his aims (the destruction of the Doctor) the Doctor succeeds heroically in foiling the Master’s opportunistic attempt to seize control of the Universe. It also allows Baker to depart in a manner appropriate to his often larger-than-life legendary portrayal, after a season where the theme of decay seems to have had a quietening effect on his character too.

The idea of entropy comes to a head here, both explicitly – Baker directly addresses this in his first scene in the grove, noting the decay of the TARDIS, as does Adric to Nyssa, and entropy is openly discussed as Logopolis visibly decays, coupled with the more subtle but noticeable ‘decay’ of Tegan’s car – looking battered and getting a flat without the means to replace the tyre (the spare is flat too) – drawing parallels with the now inadequate nature of the TARDIS. Of course the universe’s peril from the Master’s ultimate plan seems to indicate the decay and destruction of everything, and the shrinking of the TARDIS in part 3, with the Doctor still inside, also foreshadows the ‘shrinking’ of the universe, as does the miniaturisation of the Master’s victims with his Tissue Compression Eliminator. This ties in with the downsizing of the Gateway in Warriors Gate, along with the shrinking power of the respective sources inMeglos and The Keeper Of Traken, and the forthcoming ‘death’ of the Doctor is cleverly referenced during the ‘mini-TARDIS’ scene as, trapped inside, he sees his companions looking down at him, desperately calling his name.

Logopolis has a wary standing amongst long-term fans, however, many of whom criticise certain plot holes, notably when the Doctor is in the TARDIS and debates ‘flushing out’ the Master in his own TARDIS, and the ending of the story at the Pharos Research tower, where the Doctor and the Master are supposed to be working together to prevent the utter destruction of what is left of the universe. Adric’s bafflement at block transfer computation, and at why the Doctor needs to go to Earth to find a police box in the first place, is understandable, too. The decision by the Doctor to flood the TARDIS has also been particularly condemned in such a science-heavy season as being deeply improbable, although it does fit in with the title character’s apparent death-wish, previously seen in Warriors’ Gate. The fetching of Nyssa from Traken is another such issue, as is the fact that the police immediately deduce that Vanessa and the policeman are dead, even though the only ‘evidence’ of this are two tiny doll-like figures – and one has to wonder who called the authorities in the first place. Finally there are the logistics of the Master’s deranged plan to hold the universe to ransom from on board the research tower, which bearing in mind that the authorities are still a factor is flawed in the extreme – one suggestion put forward by reviewers is that the Master might have been playing a cruel practical joke on the Doctor, which is made to look unlikely by his subsequent concern and panic when the Doctor goes outside to disconnect the cable.

Anthony Ainley’s performance here is a curious one, too, the actor following up his superb portrayal of the kindly, reasonable and honourable Tremas with a Master who, though bearing a general resemblance to that of Delgado’s, is altogether more psychotic and malevolent, and whose schemes are far less rationally-based. This is not Delgado’s ruthless yet oddly gentlemanly crook, nor is it the wizened, wraith-like figure of Pratt/Beevers, desperately clinging to the remnants of life and gleefully inching closer to rejuvenation. This is a character who as well as taking that extra silver of pleasure from the suffering of others, that Pratt and Beevers displayed, seems to have an almost impulsive, ever-cackling evil, one which if left unchecked would not only threaten his own life but the decay of the entire universe. If that weren’t enough, the Master then cannot help but threaten to continue the destruction of all life unless they subject to his will, and his giggling near-collapse at the delight of holding such power suggests total psychosis and a more unfocused megalomania than ever seen before from the character. The Doctor’s subsequent astonishment at this unhinged behaviour (famously exclaiming “You’re utterly mad!” when his nemesis makes his latest plan clear) is rather contradicted by his earlier comment to Adric. “He’s a Time Lord. In many ways we have the same mind.”

Davison’s initial trio of companions are all together by now, with the loud-mouthed Tegan becoming an occasionally reluctant and complaining presence on board the TARDIS. Janet Fielding’s portrayal of the character is notably at odds with the good grace of previous passengers, and the first scene where she screeches at Tom Baker for an explanation (and his pained expression as she does so) is a moment of surprise humour in a doom-laden tale. Despite the fact the character went on to become, like Adric, one of the more criticised companions in the show’s history, and despite the fact that her dialogue with Aunt Vanessa is rather clumsily geared at making sure the audience know she is a flight attendant – her emotional reactions to events – whether berating the crew of the TARDIS, talking openly to the Monitor about the joyless lives of the Logolopitans or learning of the death of Aunt Vanessa – provide some genuine, believability and humanity to a miserable and sterile story, though her costume is no better than Adric’s. Matthew Waterhouse’s performance, however, is sadly not as strong here as in the previous story, hectoring Baker’s Doctor repeatedly in the opening stages and his OTT greetings of Nyssa seem forced – almost suggesting a potential attraction from the former towards the latter, though any potential relationship which could have humanised the characters never did come to pass. On a positive note, John Fraser provides gravitas as the welcoming, dignified and ultimately terrified Monitor, conveying the scale of doom in part 3 as entropy overwhelms Logopolis.

The sets are again of a high standard. The Master’s TARDIS is a clever variation on the traditional model, with a devilish red tinge to the outer panels, and the cold, sterile sets for Logopolis, described by the Master as “a cold, high place overlooking the universe”, are well-lit and suitable for an austere story such as this. Paddy Kingsland creates an ethereal, haunting score, notably during the scenes where the Doctor first sees the Watcher across the road and later on the bridge overlooking the Thames, and this sets the mood for the gloomy adventure ahead along with the dignified incidental music when the Doctor first arrives on Logopolis. The chicken-guitar funk music where the Doctor, the Master and the companions are attempting to get into the Pharos tower is a little less successful, however, rather breaking the consistent mood of the story even bearing in mind that something more up-tempo was needed for the chase scene.

Finally, after the Doctor’s ‘life flashing before the eyes’ moment clinging for dear life to the tower, and seeing his old enemies – the Master, a Dalek, the Pirate Captain from The Pirate Planet, a Cyberman, Davros, a Sontaran, a Zygon and the Black Guardian – comes the regeneration scene on the ground beneath. There is a similar ‘run-through’ of his companions – Sarah-Jane, Harry, Brigadier, Leela, K9, and the two Romanas – looking down at him and calling his name as well as the present and correct trio, and an effective use of special effects (unlike the moment where the Doctor is supposed to be hanging from the tower, and the badly choreographed reactions of the companions who ‘watch’ him fall) where the Watcher, now revealed to be a transitional stage between the 4th and 5th incarnations of the Doctor, merges with him in a flash of green and then white light. “It’s the end – but the moment has been prepared for” gasps Baker, with a triumphant expression at odds with the Master’s apparent ‘slaying’ of him, before the fresh-faced Peter Davison sits up wordlessly in his place. The theme of change referenced here in the constant ‘regeneration’ of the Master’s TARDIS (and the Doctor’s attempt to do the same to his ), and the clearing of the decks (the jettisoning of Romana’s room) is complete, with the once-inconceivable changing of the lead actor.

Logopolis, then, gives Baker a memorable (if not always for the right reasons) send off. It is a sombre, doom-laden final goodbye for an actor in the part of the Doctor, who will probably always be remembered as its most popular. It does well in bringing the themes of entropy and decay which had seeped through all the stories of season 18 to the forefront and to a conclusion, and with the regeneration of the Master to compliment that of the Doctor (whose own instability would not be cured until the end of Davison’s first transmitted story Castrovalva), hinted at the show’s future, where the two’s fates would be as interlinked as they were in Pertwee’s day. Whether one approves of all the changes Nathan-Turner had made during the season, there was little doubt that the show which concluded with Davison now in the role of the Doctor had completely evolved to enter the 1980s.

THE END

Articles By Other Writers

Just a quick update, this blog will soon be featuring content from other writers. The bulk of this blog will still be written by me but hopefully it will allow it to branch out a bit.

Professor Fang: The Living Spaceship: Part 6: The Measure of A Hero

 

The Zombies grabbed Alice and started to bite her arm. Kirsteen however was able to knock several of them away with the butt of the gun and pull Alice free.

Kirsteen pushed Alice behind her and started to fire at the Zombies. Her fire was indiscriminate and chaotic, but she still managed to catch several Zombies.

The Demon child however knocked the the gun out of Kirsteen’s hand before she could turn it on him.

Luke meanwhile had by this point become completely infected by the Demon child. When he stood up, Kirsteen and Alice almost didn’t recognise him, his face had become so twisted and distorted. He walked slowly towards Kirsteen and Alice who both tried not to show any fear of the beast. Suddenly Kirsteen noticed several more Zombies coming up behind Luke. Seizing her chance, she shoved Luke into the Zombies. The Demon was caught completely off guard and Kirsteen managed to push him straight into the horde.

This time the Zombies would manage to overpower the Demon. Luke had not yet fully changed and was still vulnerable in some ways. Added to that there were at least twenty Zombies in the hall. Even then Luke still managed to bring down three Zombies, but still the horde were able to pin the Demon to the ground after which, they tore his guts open and started to eat him alive.

Whilst the Zombies were preoccupied with their meal, Kirsteen quickly grabbed the gun and started firing at the Demon child. She didn’t hit it, due the Demons speed and her own lack of skill, but she was able to send it running at least, whilst she and Alice ran past the Zombies, and into Gyster.

The Professor and Lindsey meanwhile had almost reached the end of Gyster.

“You could let me know what you intend to do to stop that thing” Gyster said, somewhat worried.

“Relax I have a plan. It might not work, but its the best we have.”

Gyster suddenly started to groan in pain.

“What’s wrong?” The Professor asked.

“Its Jiazan. He is tearing through me to get to you. Normally I’d heal the damage but I’m too weak. You have to run both of you. NOW!”

The Professor and Lindsey ran down the corridor, but Jiazan came smashing down from the ceiling a lot faster than Gyster had expected, right in front of them.

“Please we have bigger problems than a jealous Zombie throwing a bratty tantrum.” The Professor said rolling his eyes again.

Jiazan instantly went for Lindsey, but the Professor in turn went for Jiazan’s legs and knocked him to the ground. Whilst Jiazan was on the ground, the Professor tried to pin him down. Lindsey meanwhile picked up some of the rubble from the ceiling that Jiazan had brought down, and tried to hit the Zombie, but the monster quickly threw the Professor off and grabbed Lindsey by the throat and smashed her into the wall.

The Professor grabbed his staff. Gyster had told him that the magics from the staff wouldn’t work a second time, so the Professor instead stabbed it through Jiazan’s chest. It did little to deter the monster at first, but the Professor pulled him back from Lindsey with the staff, before pulling it out.

Jiazan tried to strike the Vampire several more times, but the Professor was too quick and hit Jiazan several times in the face with the staff, before stabbing Jiazan in the neck. The Professor tried to pull the staff upwards and take the Zombies head off, but Jiazan simply grabbed the staff with both hands and broke it in two.

“Do you have any idea how rare that was?” The Professor fumed. Jiazan in response punched his hand through the Professor’s chest and lifted him up, slowly into the air.

Lindsey tried to attack Jiazan but it was no use. She hit him as hard as she could repeatedly but the monster didn’t even respond as it grabbed the Professor by the throat and dug its claws deep into his throat.

Lindsey jumped on Jiazan’s back and started to dig her fingers into the monsters eyes. It tried to shake her off, but she held on tight. Whilst it was struggling the Professor rammed into Jiazan and shoved him into a nearby room. The room was a small living quarters, with a bed, a tv, and a table with some chairs at one end.

Lindsey managed to jump off of his back, whilst the Professor started to dig his claws into Jiazan’s stomach and tore out his guts and intestines. He pulled on them so hard he knocked the Zombie on its back. The Professor then wrapped Jiazan’s own intestines around his neck, and pulled hard. Lindsey meanwhile grabbed a nearby chair and smashed it, off of Jiazan’s back as he tried to pull himself up. She then stabbed a chair leg into his back. With all her strength she managed to pierce his backbone.

Jiazan however managed to pull himself back up, and throw both the Professor and Lindsey back towards the other end of the room. Lindsey quickly grabbed the tv and smashed it over the Zombie’s head, before grabbing another chair leg and stabbing it through the monsters chest.

Whilst she was wrestling with the Zombie, the Professor searched the room for anything he could use against the monster. He found an old lighter on the table and as soon as the Zombie lifted the television off of its head, the Professor jumped up and kicked the Zombie in the face sending him backwards onto the bed. The Professor then grabbed the blanket and wrapped it around Jiazan before setting it on fire with the lighter.

The Professor hurried Lindsey out of the room as Jiazan’s entire body went up. The Zombie didn’t feel the pain of the fire, but it still greatly weakened him as it burnt his muscles away. Nevertheless even in his death throes, Jiazan still tried to tear the two time travellers apart. Lindsey and the Professor tried to hold the door shut behind them, hoping that Jiazan would burn to death before he could break through

As the two struggled against Jiazan’s still superior strength however, and Jiazan managed smashing his way through the door,sending the Professor and Lindsey backwards.

By this stage Jiazan’s entire body was on fire. He flailed around aimlessly before stumbling to the floor, his legs were so weak. With his last ounce of strength he tried to reach for Lindsey before finally dying a second time.

“So much for Gyster’s star pupil” The Professor said as he searched around.

Lindsey winced in disgust at his callousness. She had never thought much of the Professor’s gallows humour.

Suddenly the Professor spotted two of Gysters prisoners that he had rescued down the other end of a nearby corridor. One of them was clearly badly hurt and being supported by the other. He called to them.

“You, you said we’d be safe in there. Then you switch out the lights and let that thing loose on us.” Kirsteen fumed at the Professor.

“We’re sorry” Lindsey interjected, knowing the Professor would probably just tell her to piss off.

“Gyster, the living ship, drained ours of all its power. A Demon we were keeping prisoner was released. Are you the only survivors.”

“Yes” Kirsteen said with regret. “The boy was turned into a, some kind of monster. Is there any way you can help him?”

“No” the Professor said bluntly.

Alice started to cry. “Please I don’t want to die in here. I have to get back to my mother. She’ll die without me.”

“Don’t worry, I promise we’ll get you back to her” Lindsey said gently.

“How many times do I have to tell you Lindsey, don’t promise anything.”

“Professor!” 

“I’m just being realistic and not giving anyone false hope. The Demon that was freed young ladies is one of the most evil creatures I’ve ever encountered. We’ll be lucky to make it out of this in one piece.”

Suddenly they were interrupted by the sound of Gyster screaming. 

“Gyster what’s wrong?” The Professor shouted. “Gyster!”

“Help me, he’s here. “The Demon, he tore his way through me, and made his way to my core. He is corrupting my heart. Please, don’t let him turn me into a monster.”

“We have to help him” the Professor said.

“I’m sorry, you want to help the crazy spaceship that abducted us?” Kirsteen said in disbelief? “How about we get the fuck out of here and let both monsters finish each other off.”

“Believe me I don’t much care for this vessel either” the Professor said firmly. “But if that fiend Slekovora gets control of this vessel, he’ll use it to help slaughter billions of worlds. We have to stop it.”

Kirsteen still protested. “I didn’t ask to be part of any of this, neither did she. We both just want to get home.”

“Fine go back through the Zombies and Demons I won’t stop you, I’m going to try and save billions of planets instead.”

Lindsey again tried a more soft approach.

“I’m sorry what happened to you both, to all of the people Gyster captured, but there is nowhere for you to run if Slekovora isn’t stopped. Our ship is dead. It was drained of its power by Gyster, it couldn’t take you out of here. Even if there was, tell me would you want us to not save, potentially billions of worlds? If we don’t act now that Demon will escape. Would your really want that.”

“Please, just get her to safety. No one cares about me back home, but she has a mother. She’s young.” Kirsteen pleaded.

The Professor was already walking back down the other way to the heart of Gyster.

“If you want to get out of this come with me. I don’t have time to argue.” The Professor said.

“God I hope that old git gets eaten.” Kirsteen snapped.

“I understand that way of thinking, but he’s right we have to stop him. Please just trust me.” Lindsey said.

Slekovora had made his way to Gysters heart using his super speed and strength to tear through the walls of the ship. He could sense the ships magical heart, even when he was imprisoned. Even at full strength Gyster couldn’t have resisted Slekovora’s power. Still he fought which just made the process all the more agonising.

“Quite crying will you.” Slekovora snapped. “It makes me laugh that you actually think you’re a hero. Look at what you did to your so called friends. When you join me, you’ll at least give up any pretense that you’re one of the good guys. Plus unlike you’re other eh companions, I’ll be with you forever. I don’t age and neither do you. You’ll be able to take me across the universe, recruit the most twisted people I can from all of time to be my new army. I almost feel like thanking that wretched Vampire for bringing me here.”

As Slekovora’s power ran through the ship, the Zombies started to turn into more Demon creatures. For the first time Gyster began to see the horror of what he had done to his former crew, as now there truly was nothing left of the brave and noble people who had once been his friends.

Many of the Zombies even tried to fight Slekovora’s influence. As degenerate and monstrous as they were, even the Zombies could sense how dark the power that was taking them over was.

The Professor, Lindsey, Alice and Kirsteen were able to make their way through Gyster relatively quickly, thanks to the gun Kirsteen had brought which made short work of the Zombies. The Zombies who were busy being reformed and twisted into Demons to fight back. Kirsteen carried Alice all the way there. When they managed to make their way back to the Zoo the doors were still closed.

“Gyster, if you can here me, you need to open the door.” The Professor said. Gyster with his last ounce of strength obliged. He didn’t have any left to even attempt to resist the Demon anymore, but he hoped that the Professor and the others would be able to rescue him in time, or kill him if need be.

The foursome ran through the zoo, more confidently thanks to Kirsteen’s weapon. Kirsteen was distracted for a few seconds when she saw the Allosaurus fighting with a gigantic octopoid like creature. She stared in amazement at the two monsters, completely unaware that a Raptor was slowly creeping up on her. Fortunately Alice noticed the smaller Dinosaur in time and warned Kirsteen, who quickly fired in the Raptors direction, sending it scurrying away.

“Don’t just stand there, if you want to see Dinosaurs, I’ll take you to their time after, but we have to move” the Professor shouted.

The foursome managed to make their way into the vents and crawled down below, with the Professor carrying Alice down. Slekovora didn’t even notice them he was too busy trying to overrun Gysters mind. The Professor intended to sneak up on the Demon and push him into Gysters heart. The pure concentrated magic would vaporise almost any other creature, but it would still not be powerful enough to kill Slekovora. However it might knock him out long enough for them to get him back in his prison.

Kirsteen however shot at Slekovora in panic. It was a foolish action, as the lasers literally bounced off of the monster. The Professor shouted at her to stop, but he was too late.

Slekovora turned around and saw the Professor. “Well come to save this pathetic, needy creature have you? You locked me in that box for years, I’m going to repay you tenfold for every second I spent in that hell. You and this bitch”

Slekovora lifted both Lindsey and the Professor in the air and started to crush their insides with his mind.

Kirsteen shot the Demon again, but it did no good and he lifted the gun out of her hand with his mind, and pointed it towards her. He did not aim for her head however. He aimed for her kneecaps instead.

Alice stared at the monster who hadn’t even noticed her, in sheer terror. She was too scared to move a muscle, but she knew she had to do something. If she didn’t then she would never see her mother again.

Alice ran into the Slekovora, knocking him off his feet a bit. It obviously didn’t hurt him, but it distracted the monster long enough for the others to break free from his control.

The Professor rammed into Slekovora, as did Lindsey, but it was only with the combined might of all 4 of them that they were able to push the monster back just a few feet into Gysters heart.

The energy from the heart consumed Slekovora, but just as the Professor had thought it did not vaporise him. He struggled and struggled to rip his way out of the heart, but the pain was too much even for him. When the Demon did finally manage to pull his way out after a few minutes, he was so weak that the Professor was able to knock Slekovora out with one punch.

“Incredible. The power of that heart would be enough to vaporise almost any life form in the known universe, but he was just knocked out. He won’t be out for long either. We have to get him back to my prison as fast as we can. ” The Professor said.

“Gyster, you need to return the power to my ship. Pronto.”

“I’ll do more than that” Gyster said.

“The Demon has infected me. Whether you lock him up or not, his evil will spread through me across all of space and time.”

“What are you saying.”

I’m saying that I will deposit the power I drained back into your vessel, and then while my mind is still my own I shall destroy myself. The explosion may also kill Slekovora too. Go back to your ship now. You’ll only have 10 or so minutes.”

“He’s right” the Professor said. “There’s nothing we can do to cure him, and this our best bet of stopping that Demon once and for all. Come one.”

The Professor prepared to flee, but Lindsey thanked Gyster for his sacrifice first.

“You’re welcome. For what its worth, Kirsteen, Alice. I’m sorry I brought you into this. I saw potential in you both, and we would have done great things together. If only it had gone differently.”

Kirsteen was somewhat moved by Gysters words, but she still couldn’t bring herself to say anything back to the ship. She saw what it created, what it had done to people it supposedly cared about, and as far as she knew, had it not been for this ship then Luke and the others would still be alive.

The foursome ran down the corridor leading to the disco. The bright light that had prevented them before had long since vanished. They ran through the ship as it started to crumble, past the bodies, and the Zombies who were beginning to mutate into something else, beyond even Slekovora’s Demonic pawns, as the magic that powered them was beginning to fluctuate.

Gyster was able to guide them down the correct route through the ship. Though they didn’t know the way from the Disco, he assured them it was the quickest way down. Unfortunately as Lindsey,  reached the end, the pain became too much for him and he couldn’t even speak.

“Gyster? Gyster? Say something” the Professor shouted. Suddenly however the four were distracted by a strange sound, almost like an animal coming from down the other end of the corridor. The Professor turned around to see a Raptor, that had escaped from the Zoo.

The Professor grabbed the gun from Kirsteen and shot at the beast sending it running, though it didn’t go too far.

“Come on, we can’t be too far from the exit” he shouted.

They headed down two more corridors until they came near the hatch. Unfortunately it was now guarded by over 30 mutated Zombies. The creatures had all congregated to this area to wait for the time travellers.

The Professor shot at them, but it was no use. The lasers only made minor dents in them. With not other choice the Professor ran into the monsters and started attacking them. He was still stronger than the Zombies and was able to toss several of them around like ragdolls, but there was still too many of them.

Fortunately however he would be helped by the Raptor who, having followed the time travellers instead went for the Zombies. It managed to bring down two of the monsters. One that it disembowled with its claws, and another that’s head it sliced off with its sickle like claw.

The Zombies however managed to dogpile on the Raptor and quickly overpowered the Dinosaur.

The Professor, Lindsey, Alice and Kirsteen tried to escape whilst the Zombies were busy feeding on the fallen Raptor, but unfortunately one of the monsters managed to grab Kirsteen just as she had made it to the door. Alice tried to fight the Zombie off, but the creature instead sunk its teeth into Alice’s neck. The monster then threw Alice back into the horde and though Kirsteen tried to help her, it was obvious there was nothing she or anyone else could do. Lindsey was forced to pull Kirsteen back, before the Zombies got to her too, after which she shut the hatch. Kirsteen still tried to go back.

“I’m not leaving her, not when we’re this close.”

“I’m sorry there is nothing we can do, if you open that door now you’ll kill all of us” Lindsey said as she restrained Kirsteen.

The Professor meanwhile ran to his control room. The power had been restored to his ship now, though it was still in a terrible state.

Back on Gyster meanwhile, Slekovora awoke.

“Where is the Vampire and the girl?” Answer me you freak or I’ll”. Suddenly the Demon realised why the ship wasn’t answering and tried to run to safety, but it was no use. In a matter of minutes the ship, the Zombies, the Dinosaurs, Slekovora, the flaming Demon and the Demon child were all consumed in a blaze of blue magic. Fortunately the Professor had managed to pilot his ship to safety, just before Gyster exploded.

“We’re finally rid of that Demon. I hope” The Professor thought to himself.

The immediate danger may have been over, but there was still a big loose end to tie up. The Professor had recognised Kirsteen. It had taken a while, but he remembered her from one of his many visits to the 21st century. He knew that she had been abducted by aliens, and was never found.

He couldn’t bring Kirsteen back to her own time or else time would be changed. He was stuck with her for the time being, until he could find a new era for Kirsteen to settle in. How could he tell someone that they could never go back to their own time, and see their own family ever again?

 

                                       Next Adventure: The Demon Within

 

 

Doctor Who: The New Universe: Part 5

Related image

“We failed”

“Please just hold on”

“What for? To see another universe crash and burn just like ours? I’m finally free.”

They were the last two survivors of Excelios’ race known as the Mihia down in the caves. All of their team members had been devoured by the hideous blue monsters. They had no idea if Excelios himself was even still alive. Mirash and Lehoris had been among the last 12 who launched a suicide attack on the blue monsters (who were known as the Reschikars) guarding the compacted star.

They had only a few basic weapons and were vastly outnumbered, but they hoped that the could perhaps destroy the control panel for the compacted star. Doing so would cause the star to explode, destroying this planet and the Mihia’s home universe. They didn’t care. Their universe was already a lost cause in their minds. If they could stop another reality from falling to these monsters.

They hadn’t even got near the panel however. One of the Reschikars had managed to trace the Mihia’s through the cave without their knowledge, and had warned the other members of their attack.

It could have just dealt with the Mihia there and then, but it decided to have some fun with them, and let them walk into an ambush.

Only Mirash and Lehoris had managed to escape, and Lehoris had been mortally wounded. One of the Reschikars had managed to ram its claws straight through his guts, but Lehoris had still managed to drag him to safety.

With his last breath, Lehoris begged Mirash to end her life too.

“Please Mirash. I’ve loved you like a daughter. I don’t want you to end up at the mercy of those abominations. There’s no hope left. Its our only way out.” He then let out a final scream of pain before collapsing.

Mirash was now completely alone in the dark caves, filled with monsters that wanted her dead.

She had just three charges left in her gun, barely enough to kill one Reschikar. She put the gun to her head and for a few minutes contemplated following the man who had been like a father to her’s advice. She remembered the suffering her comrades had endured at the monsters hands, which made her come closer than anything else. Ultimately however she decided not to. She had vowed to her people back home that as long as there was still breath in her, she would never stop fighting against the monsters. Though how she was going to honour that now, she had no idea.

“I think I’ve already shown you that I’m not one to be bargained with.” The leader said to Dana, as it looked at Reosa with murderous intent.

“Well you’re going to kill us anyway. This way I might as well take you lot down with me. Don’t give me the crap of you’ll go easy on us if we hand over the cure. I know for a fact you won’t either way.”

The leader knew he was beat for now and agreed to let Reosa join Dana.

“Okay good, tell your friend out there to let us get back to the vents. Once we’re free we’ll message you where I left the cure. Make any attempt to come after us, and I’ll smash this to bits do you understand.”

The leader couldn’t bring himself to respond he was so angry, but the look he gave showed that he knew.

Dana and Reosa made their way out of the corridor, past the monsters and to the vents, with Dana making sure Reosa got up first.

The leader started to smash the room apart in anger. It was the first time anyone had gotten one over on him in his entire life. The reason for that was because he had been used to dealing with terrorised and helpless slaves he could easily bully. Still he wasn’t used to failure, and he took it out on his men.

On the lowest level the Doctor had finally managed to rig up his weapon.

“Right now you say we can reach the caves via the ventilation system.” The Doctor asked.

“Yes, but I’m afraid once we’re in the caves I don’t know where we will go. As you can see those monsters disconnected the security to the caves. When I tried to sciphon off the power from the core, they disconnected them. I guess they didn’t want me or anyone to see what they were doing.”

“Well we will deal with that when we have to, right now we just have to get those monsters away from the core.”

The Doctor was able to control the generator next to the giant from here. He intended to release some of the power from it, enough to give the creature a large shock. He had to be very careful to adjust it in such a way where it would not explode so as not kill the giant. They needed him as a bargaining chip.

“Check the monitors, we need to make sure there’s at least a safe route out of here” the Doctor said to Excelios.

The Doctor waited for a few minutes until the giant, who was still throwing a tantrum like a spoiled brat got close enough to the large generator, after which he then released the power.

The giant was caught in the shock, but it didn’t collapse. The Doctor was sure that would be enough to level the beast, but it struggled to pull free.

“Incredible.” The Doctor said. “How can he even still be standing!” The Doctor increased the power dramatically, but the monster still fought against it. If he increased the power anymore he might kill the monster, or drain the reactor completely.

Eventually the giant began to slump, but in a last futile attempt to break free it struck the reactor which created a mini explosion that knocked it flat out cold.

The reactor was completely broken however. The Doctor couldn’t make it explode now. The giant was not dead, though the Doctor had no idea just how badly he had hurt it.

“We’ll have to tell a little white lie” the Doctor said.

“Hello? This is the Doctor? Ah good its on. Okay now listen to me, I’ve knocked your leader out with the power from one of the reactors. If you don’t follow my instructions, I will make it explode and kill him.

The monsters all paused for a few minutes, before one of them on the the 6th floor, a large creature, with 4 arms, a hideous oval shaped face and a dark, spiked body responded to the Doctor.

This creature belonged to a race known as the Hylerax. They ranked second only to the giants. Neither the giants nor the Hylerax had been part of the first wave, as they were deemed too important. However they were the first to enter the Doctors universe of the second wave, with the giant being teleported in before the Hylerax.

“We do not believe you could have harmed our lord. You couldn’t even stand against our lowliest servants” the creature laughed. “How could you have possibly harmed him.

“I knocked him out on the 14th floor. Go send one of your lackeys down there if you don’t believe me, though I warn you any tricks and I’ll blow him to pieces.”

The monster who spoke crawled all the way down to elevator shaft the 14th floor. When it saw its leader lying by the reactor, seemingly lifeless, it broke down into tears.

“How touching.” The Doctor said sarcastically.

“I swear when I find you, you will suffer, I’ll make sure .”

“You’ll do nothing I don’t want you too, unless you want all of your men to have pick up bits and pieces of your leader for the next few months.”

“What do you want” the monster said extremely reluctantly.

“Simple for all of your men in the caves to cease the work they are doing on the generator.”

“How do you know what we’re doing?”

“I worked it out. I know what you intend to do. Honestly I would have thought one universe was enough for you to terrorise. Greedy little abominations aren’t you.”

“All universes will fall before our might. As much as we may love our king, he is a necessary sacrifice.”

The Doctor paused for a minute.

“Doctor what are we going to do.” Excelios began to panic.

“I think he’s just bluffing. Thing is how do I show him I mean business? If only that giant hadn’t smashed the reactor.” The Doctor replied

He thought for a moment.

“Perhaps I can maybe send a slight energy pulse into the reactor from here. It won’t be enough to cause an explosion, or even send a shockwave to the monster, but it might make him think I’m about to detonate. We’ll just have to hope he hasn’t figured it out. They are intelligent, but this equipment is new to them in some areas.”

“The Doctor spent a few more minutes adjusting the machine. The Hylerax started to think the Doctor was all talk and taunted the Time Lord.

“Just as I thought you’re bluffing. There’s no way our king could be destroyed by such miserable.”

Suddenly a buzzing noise came from the reactor which was enough to silence the creature.

“Ah yes you were saying about how your king couldn’t be felled by someone like me? He does have a size advantage I’ll give you, but that doesn’t matter when you have a nuclear reactor.” The Doctor said smugly over the communicator.

The Hylerax still didn’t back down completely and the Doctor was forced to keep powering the broken down machine. Fortunately the creature eventually relented and begged the Doctor to stop.

Just as well, the Time Lord thought. “I wouldn’t have been able to bluff much longer.”

“I’ll order the men to retreat right away.”

“Good chap” the Doctor replied mockingly. “I warn you if you make any attempt to go near the main reactor, my friend here will blow your commander away.”

The Hylerax understood and contacted its servants in the caves. It was able to contact them telepathically. The Hylerax could not read the minds of other life forms normally.

They and the creatures who served them had been genetically engineered to receive each others thoughts.  Excelios and his time however had had extensive brain surgery to prevent the Hylerax from reading their thoughts.

“I swear we will find you, and you will pay for this indignity.” The monster fumed.

“Yes well I’m not through yet. No harm is to come to two survivors from the rescue team and my friend. Two young women and a man.”

The Hylerax hesitated, not sure how to tell the Doctor.

“I saw the three survivors, similar to you earlier on the monitors, just before you came in.” Excelios said.

“What happened to them” the Doctor said, terrified of the answer.

“The Reschikars, those blue monsters tore the male apart on the first floor. They took the two women down to a lower level. Unfortunately that level’s security has been cut off by the monstrosity that made its nest there. I’m sorry.”

The Doctor paused for a few moments as he tried to take in that Dana may be dead.

“Where are the two women. Where did you take them.” The Doctor said over the monitor. He tried to keep his cool, but his anger was evident.

“We don’t know” The Hylerax said. “They tricked us and stole the last sample of the cure.”

The Doctor breathed a sigh of relief. He didn’t think the monster was lying.

“Well it seems we outwitted you again. I don’t see you conquering anymore universes personally. You’ve become lazy and stagnated.”

“Oh just you wait. We’ll find your little friends and we’ll make you watch as we tear her flesh, and crush her bones into dust.

The Doctor meanwhile ignored the monsters sadistic taunts and made preparations to leave.

“We’ll keep in contact with this communicator. If I see any monsters in the caves, I’ll tell you.” The Doctor said to Excelios.

“Until they know we can’t do anything to hurt their leader.”

“Well I didn’t say it was a full proof plan, but I hope it can buy me enough time to get a good look at the reactor.”

“What do you intend to do?”

“I’m hoping I can use the power from the reactor to create a force field around your universe to stop any more of those monsters from getting out. It’s not an ideal solution. I don’t like the idea of trapping your people in there with those things.”

“My people were lost many millenia ago. What’s important is to spare the worlds of this universe the same fate.”

“Don’t say that. The fact that you are still hear doing all you can to stop these abominations means they haven’t won. They haven’t crushed your people’s will yet. I’m hoping that this forcefield will stop them for now, and when the next rescue team and more scientists arrive they can help your people.”

“You want the creators to interfere again? They didn’t exactly do a great job before.”

“Agreed, they were reckless and cowardly. This time they’ll have to take responsibility.”

“What if they decide to just destroy our reality?”

“They won’t. Its illegal in this part of the galaxy, and goes against all of their principles. They’ll have to sort it out. I’ll make sure.”

“You’re a very brave man, eh?”

“Doctor, and I’m only doing what anyone would do. Necessity is the mother of courage as well as invention. You need to stay here, not just to threaten them, but I’ll need your help when readjusting the power. Also keep a look out for my friends.”

I’m not too upset at being made to wait here Doctor, but I’ll do whatever I can to help you and others.”

“Good man, now lets see about saving two, and possibly more universes shall we?”

Dana and Reosa had heard the Doctors ultimatum as they crawled through the vents.

“We have to get back to the caves.” Dana said.

“Whatever reason the Doctor has to drive them away from down there, we have to help him.”

“I agree, but how can we help him? We’re unarmed, and the monsters will probably be waiting for us down there. We could end up being more of a burden than anything else.” Reosa replied

“We still have the cure. If the Doctor is cornered we could use it as a bargaining chip.”

Reosa thought for a few moments before agreeing.

“Okay, fine. They’ll probably catch us wherever we go anyway”

“That’s not a very hopeful attitude.”

“Well you know seeing your team mates and son be ripped to pieces doesn’t exactly fill you with optimism.”

“You’re right. I’m sorry. At least we can do all we can to make their killers pay.”

“That I can get behind”

“Then lets not waste another minute.”

Dana and Reosa crawled back down the shaft to the lowest level in the caves. They were already on their way down to the lowest levels to search for the Doctor anyway. They tried not to make a sound so as not to alert the monsters. The two women hoped that the monsters efforts would largely be on the Doctor now.

They managed to make it to a room in the caves. It contained a generator, and was littered with corpses, though these were not the corpses of scientists. Instead they were of Excelios people.

“I saw one of these creatures before.” Dana said.

“When me and the Doctor first arrived in this godforsaken place, we came through the caves, and we saw one of these creatures. It was dying, the poor thing. It didn’t seem like the others we’ve seen in the facility, though granted it was dying.

“Even dying, one of those things would try and rip your throat out” Reosa said with anger. She continued. “Sadly it doesn’t seem to matter if these things were on our side or not.”

“No I suppose not.” Dana said with regret. “Come on we need to.” Suddenly Dana froze as she noticed there were three of the blue monsters standing in the only way out, aside from back up the vent, blood dripping from their mouths.

“Now look. We have the only known cure to a virus that’s currently killing all of your superiors above. Come one step closer and I’ll drop it.”

The monsters didn’t seem to believe her however and walked slowly towards the two ladies. Just then a hand came bursting through the floor and grabbed onto Dana’s leg. It was one of the phasing monsters. Reosa was right. The monsters had been expecting them to follow the Doctor and had laid a trap for the two women.

Dana struggled to break free, whilst Reosa fetched for a large rock to use as a weapon. One of the blue creatures however grabbed Reosa and bit into her arm, Reosa in desperation bit the monster back.

She didn’t do much to hurt it, but the shock was enough to surprise the beast, allowing Reosa to pull her arm free and punch it right in the mouth. Again however her hit did little to hurt the monster either, but Reosa quickly grabbed the large pointed rock she had been heading for and hit the monster in the jaw breaking it. She then rammed the rock straight into the beasts chest and shoved it against a wall. The rock pierced its skin, but its muscles were so thick she wasn’t able to make a deep cut.

The monster tried to push back, but Reosa kept hitting the monster in its broken jaw. Eventually when she realised that she didn’t have the strength to impale the monster, she pulled the rock out of its chest and started to hit the monster across the face until it collapsed to the floor. She continued to beat it until she smashed its skull in completely.

The other two monsters meanwhile grabbed Dana by either arm. One of them tried to pull the cure out of Dana’s hand, but in desperation she threw it to the ground and destroyed the last sample.

Both monsters dived to grab it, but they were too late. Dana meanwhile managed to pull her leg free from the phasing monster below.

Suddenly the entire room began to shake. Rubble began to fall from the ceiling, and Dana was almost impaled by a large shard of rock, which she barely managed to dodge.

Both of the monsters lunged at Dana, desperate for revenge, but she managed to pick up the shard that had almost impaled her and thrust it through one of the monsters chests.

The shard was longer and stronger than the rock Reosa had used, and the fact that the monster had thrust itself at her. Dana pushed the corpse of the first monster back into the second, sending it backwards into Reosa who struck the second monster from behind with her rock, knocking it out, after which she then smashed its skull in.

The phasing monster soon emerged from the floor, roaring and hissing, but again the room started to shake. Rather than try and fight the monster, Dana and Reosa quickly ran down the corridor.

“What the hell is causing that?” Reosa asked.

“It sounds like the giant? but I thought the Doctor said” Suddenly the room began to shake so badly more rubble fell from the ceiling, and this time a large piece landed on Dana, trapping her.

“Just go, that thing is coming up behind us. You’ll die if you stay.”

Reosa didn’t listen to Dana however. She tried to push the rubble off of Dana’s leg, but it was no use. Still Dana helped her, as she realised that she couldn’t make Reosa leave otherwise.

As she pushed harder and harder, Dana looked around to see the phasing monster standing at the other end of the corridor.

She pushed harder and harder, when suddenly more rubble came crashing down from the ceiling. Some of it landed on Reosa causing her to fall on top of Dana. As Reosa tried to get up, suddenly a massive hand came from above through the falling rubble. Before Dana could even warn her, the claws on the end of its fingers impaled Reosa right through the stomach. It then pulled so hard that it tore her in two.

Dana screamed and struggled to get free, but it was futile. She could see large green eyes peering through the hole in the ceiling that the hand had come down through. They didn’t belong to the giant. At the same time Dana suddenly noticed the phasing beasts  feet right beside her head.

To Be Continued.